Douglas Lima is a 26-year-old monster of a welterweight that has made his mark in Bellator with six knockouts in his seven Bellator wins. He’s won two welterweight tournaments, and the only mark on his Bellator resume is a loss to the now-ousted former welterweight champion, Ben Askren.
With Lima’s season nine welterweight tournament win, he’s facing Rick Hawn, the season 9 welterweight tournament winner, for the vacant welterweight title this Friday on Spike.
With this changing of the guard finally expected to happen, we sat down with Lima and talked about his willingness to bang with Rick Hawn and his desire to chase Alexander Shlemenko’s middleweight belt when all is said and done.
Jason Nawara: I spoke to Rick Hawn earlier, and he said he expects you to come in and try to knock his head off. Do you agree?
Douglas Lima: Yeah! I’m gonna go in there in my mind with it being a stand up fight. That will be good. But, if it goes to the ground I’ll be comfortable with it.
JN: Between the two of you, there’s a huge amount of knockouts. Does it please you that he’s willing to test his stand up against you?
DL: Yeah it does, but his striking has gotten good and he’s confident in his chin but I’m confident in mine. His last 3-4 fights have shown that his striking has improved, but going in with that gameplan, it’s fine. Once you get into the fight everything changes, eeverything you plan for haha. We’ll see.
JN: You’ve said recently you’re a more mature Douglas Lima. Can you explain?
DL: My training is better and I don’t think I was really doing as much as I could have to make this a good career. Yeah, man. Just training a lot more and now I’m fighting for a lot more, so I’ve changed a lot of things with my camp and I’m mixing things better.
JN: How do you feel about your size advantage over Rick Hawn?
DL: Yes! I think if I get on top of him and start hitting him on the ground it will be tough because I carry a lot of weight. He’ll have to fight my power and get worn out. I’m not looking at that as the ultimate thing. It’s still a welterweight fight and he’s championship level.
JN: How much weight do you usually cut to get to 170?
DL: I start 8 weeks out at about 210 pounds. I work and work and work towards that weight cut.
JN: You’re only 26 and have 30 fights. Did you always think you’d be this active when you started fighting?
DL: I did, I really enjoy it and I want to keep this up. I hope that I will get close to 100 fights.
JN: Are you frustrated you couldn’t get another shot at Ben Askren?
DL: A little bit. I just wanted to fight for the belt at the end of the day, whether it be him or someone else, I want the gold around my waist. The only bad thing is that he never lost so people might talk about how he is the real champion, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m focusing on this fight and what I need to do.
JN: Recently the Shlemenko/Tito Ortiz fight was made. Considering your size, would you be willing to move up to fight Shlemenko, perhaps?
DL: Definitely, definitely. I actually am thinking about that a lot lately. Thinking about middleweight more and more. Wearing this belt, hopefully it will open doors for me to fight Shlemenko and go for his belt. But I can’t worry about that, I need to concentrate on this and Rick Hawn, but moving up is my future and fighting for the title.
JN: So hypothetically, if you win the welterweight belt, do you think Bjorn Rebney would make you fight in a middleweight tournament to get to the belt?
DL: As a champion I think I should get a title shot, so I think I should be able to fight straight for the title. I think that’s the way it should go!