EXCLUSIVE | Douglas Lima excited to set high bar for Bellator welterweight tournament fights

Douglas Lima

Bellator’s anticipated Welterweight Grand Prix, which will see Rory MacDonald, Douglas Lima, Andrey Koreshkov, Jon Fitch, Paul Daley, Michael Page, Neiman Gracie and Ed Ruth battle for welterweight gold, is almost here.

The first tournament bout occurs on the main card of the stacked Bellator 206 on September 29, when former champions Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov collide in a tie-breaking trilogy fight.

This rematch is one that fight fans are drooling over, as Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov are two of the most exciting consistently welterweights in the game. Their first two fights were also both very entertaining — albeit in different ways — as Koreshkov won the first by decision and Lima won the second by third-round knockout.

Speaking on the latest episode of BJPENN.COM Radio, Douglas Lima discussed his upcoming rematch with Andrey Koreshkov.

Given the depth of Bellator’s welterweight division, Lima says he expected the promotion to launch a welterweight tournament — especially after the success of its heavyweight tournament, which is still ongoing.

“I had a feeling they were going to do it for our weight class, because I believe our weight class is one of the best in the world,” Douglas Lima said. “[There’s] a lot of tough fights there, man, a lot of tough guys. I am excited, I am very excited. [This is] my fourth tournament that I’ve been doing in my career. I have won all three [previously], and I am looking forward to winning this next one. Make it four, that’s the goal.”

Given that Douglas Lima’s fight with Andrey Koreshkov is the first of this talent-packed welterweight tournament, he knows it’s up to him to kick off the tournament in style. From the sounds of it, he relishes this responsibility.

“[Bellator 206 is] a huge card, one of the biggest card of the year for Bellator,” Douglas Lima said. “Let’s show these guys what we got. I’m here to finish to this fight one more time.”

“Man, expect fireworks,” he continued. “This is gonna be the one. It’s gonna be a good fight. [We’re going to] show everybody what this tournament is gonna be about.”

“I think I’m gonna try to wrestle a lot more this fight but may be not. He’s a great striker as well and let see what he’s gonna bring, I’m ready for everything, I work really hard. You just gotta be ready everywhere, you got be ready to strike, got be ready to wrestle and that’s the work that I’ve done, I’m good with wherever the fight takes place. Let’s see what he’s gonna bring to the table, but I obviously should have an answer for everything. I get another finish here — that’s what we’re looking for, we’re looking to finish fights, stay away from the judges, that’s it.”

Bellator WGP
The Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix bracket (Note: Alternate fighter Yaroslav Amosov has been replaced by Erick Silva).

While Lima is hoping to kickstart the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix with a jaw-dropping finish, he knows that’s not a certainty. Finishing fights is never easy — especially when you’re staring down an opponent like Koreshkov.

“Nowadays is not as easy, everybody is tough, everybody is durable, especially Koreshkov,” Douglas Lima said. “But I believe I have the power to finish him quick. Let’s see, I’m ready to fight for 25 minutes, if it takes that long we’ll be ready.”

“He’s gonna be looking for the finish the whole time, so hopefully get him out quick,” he continued. “The main goal for me is now is to finish fights, it always has been, but you gotta keep on doing it.”

However the fight unfolds, Douglas Lima feels like he’ll ready. His motivation is sky-high, and his weapons are sharp. As such, he believes this first tournament bout is one one fans should definitely tune in for.

“I feel good,” he said. “They’ve seen us fight before, they know it will be fight not to miss. We’re both fighting to finish the whole time. I always bring it, It’s not gonna be boring, guarantee you. This is the best fight of the card for sure, definitely the most competitive [matchup], and you’re gonna see why you don’t wanna miss it. I can’t wait, I’m ready, I did my part, I did my work, I put in the time and now it’s time to perform, so looking forward to it. I feel really good.”

Bellator 206 airs on the streaming service DAZN on September 29. Who do you think will emerge victorious when Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov collide on the main card?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/26/2018.