Bellator welterweight Douglas Lima suffered a broken hand during his welterweight tournament semifinal appearance last month and will be unable to compete in the final against Ben Saunders as scheduled.
Bellator CEO and Chairman Bjorn Rebney announced the news Tuesday morning, revealing that the Lima-Saunders showdown will now take place this summer. Lima and Saunders won their semifinal contests at Bellator 90 on Feb. 21, knocking out Bryan Baker and Raul Amaya, respectively.
The welterweights, who both compete under the colors of American Top Team, previously met in the Season 5 tournament finals. Lima emerged victorious in that clash, stopping Saunders with the same vicious right hand he used to knock out Baker. Though that victory earned “The Phenom” a title shot, he ultimately possessed no answer for the wrestling of welterweight champion Ben Askren. Following his failed title bid, Lima, 25, dominated an overmatched Jacob Ortiz last November before dismantling Michail Tsarev with leg kicks in the Season 8 quarterfinals on Jan. 24.
Saunders entered the Season 6 draw following his loss to Lima, only to see his second run come to a halt in the semifinals courtesy of Baker. “Killa B” rebounded from the defeat with three straight wins, wrecking Brian Warren in just 22 seconds as a prelude to a unanimous decision victory over Koffi Adzitso in the Season 8 quarters. The 29-year-old’s semifinal rematch with Amaya lasted just 2:56, as Saunders felled “Smash Mode” with a brilliant high kick in round one to punch his ticket to his second tournament final.