Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima will move up a weight class to take on Gegard Mousasi for the vacant Bellator middleweight title at Bellator 243.
Former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr. vacated his belt this week due to health issues, which opened up the possibility of this superfight between the former champion Mousasi and the current welterweight champ Lima.
Mousasi vs. Lima will be the co-main event at Bellator 243, which takes place on May 9 at SAP Center in San Jose, California. The main event will see Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader defend his title against Vadim Nemkow. Bellator president Scott Coker confirmed the Mousasi vs. Lima bout on Tuesday via Twitter.
“Since we can’t have a cross-promotional superfight I’ll give you another. On May 9, @Mousasi_MMA vs. @PhenomLima for the vacant @BellatorMMA middleweight world championship.”
Mousasi and Lima have been calling each other out in recent weeks after it became obvious Lovato Jr. would have to vacate his belt. The two men will get the fight they want, and on paper, this should be an incredible fight between two of the best MMA fighters in the world not currently on the UFC roster.
Mousasi (46-7-2) is the former Bellator middleweight champion and is coming off of a split decision win over Lyoto Machida in his last fight after dropping his belt to Lovato Jr. the fight before that. Overall Mousasi is 4-1 in Bellator with wins over Rory MacDonald, Rafael Carvalho, and Alexander Shlemenko. Mousasi also has notable victories in his MMA career over Chris Weidman, Dan Henderson, Thiago Santos, Ronaldo Souza, and Mark Hunt.
Lima (32-7) is the current Bellator welterweight champion. He just won the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix with victories over MacDonald, Michael Page, and Andrey Koreshkov. Overall Lima is 14-3 in Bellator and is a three-time welterweight champion in the promotion. Some of his other notable victories include Lorenz Larkin and Paul Daley.
Who do you think becomes the new Bellator middleweight champion, Gegard Mousasi or Douglas Lima?