Douglas Lima has finished five straight fights in Bellator, and more than a couple have been brutal.
Most recently the Bellator welterweight champion stopped Rick Hawn at Bellator 117 on April 18. Coming off the impressive showing, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show</> to discuss what’s next for his 170-pound king.
On Lima’s win over Hawn: “He is, from a standing perspective, in terms of his kicks and his punches, I don’t think there’s anyone more dangerous in the welterweight division in all of MMA. The guy is just an absolute monster standing. He’s got three of our top-10 knockouts. His leg kicks are just devastating. We’ve seen him do that now twice. We’ve seen him do it to two different fighters, and Rick Hawn is as tough as they come. Rick Hawn is a former Olympian. He’s been fighting his entire life. Rick Hawn can take a beating and has no mental block to taking a beating. Lima’s just a monster. … He has no interest at all in trying to grind out victories. I love watching Lima fight because you never know when the train wreck’s going to happen.”
On Lima’s future: “The future is incredibly bright for this guy. He’s got a huge future ahead of him here. I think that future probably, at some point, sees him move up to 185, but for the time being, he’s a devastating 170-pound champ.”
On whether there’s anyone in Bellator who can challenge Lima: “I love what Adam McDonough’s doing right now. … Here’s a guy that’s coming up in the vein of a Pat Curran and a Michael Chandler, an unknown fighter who’s coming out of Minnesota who is bringing all the pieces to the puzzle and has looked devastating and as calm as they come inside the cage. The other thing is [Andrey] Koreshkov. Koreshkov has got incredible striking ability. He knocks guys out. He’s got a lot of the explosive nature with his hands and his feet that we see in Lima. He’s a challenger. [Sam Oropeza] is also a guy who’s been with the organization for a lot of years. The ‘Sammy O’-Koreshkov fight is going to be a great fight for us coming up on our next show May 2nd. Look, I think ‘Sammy O’ and Koreshkov is a pick-em fight, but stylistically, a Koreshkov-Lima fight, that is an explosive, explosive battle.”
On Lima potentially fighting Alexander Shlemenko: “Then of course far off, maybe not that far off, who knows, but anybody who didn’t think immediately about a potential superfight between Doug Lima and Alexander Shlemenko -- I mean, that just has fireworks written all over it. … So who knows? [Lima] has got a lot of potential opportunities here to do big fights. I just can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 2:25:55).