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Bellator Paris Update: 2 Fights Added Including Douglas Lima’s Return to 185 Pounds


Bellator MMA is bolstering its lineup in a hurry for its return to Paris in May.

According to a release from the organization on Thursday, two additional matches have been added to the Bellator Paris billing. This event will be held at the Accor Arena in May 12, with a non-title main event pitting Gegard Mousasi (49-8-2) against Fabian Edwards (11-2) in the middleweight division. The co-headliner will see one branch of the lightweight grand prix play out as well, as Sidney Outlaw (16-5) squares off against France’s Mansour Barnaoui (20-4). The two newly announced fights include a 185-pound pairing on the main card, and a preliminary contest at 205 pounds.

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Having lost his last four, former welterweight kingpin Douglas Lima (32-11) will return to middleweight to test himself against Costello van Steenis (14-2). Lima made his 185-pound debut in 2020, when he attempted to become a two-division champ, only to get staved off by Mousasi. That loss put an end to a three-fight win streak that included the dramatic conclusion of the trilogy against Andrey Koreshkov, a knockout of rival Michael Page and a decision win over Rory MacDonald to claim the title again. This current skid has seen him drop decisions to the aforementioned Mousasi, Yaroslav Amosov, Page in a rematch and Jason Jackson, with the Amosov match where he surrendered his belt.

Since joining Bellator in 2017, van Steenis has only hit one speed bump along the way. His first four appearances ended in his favor, with three knockouts to his credit including a drubbing of Mike Shipman in 2019. A potential title eliminator against John Salter accounts for his only defeat in seven Bellator outings, as he has since bounced back with a decision over Edwards and a D’Arce choke of Kamil Oniszczuk in 2022.

The light heavyweight pairing comes between Jose Augusto Azevedo Barros (7-4, 1 NC) and Simon Biyong (9-2), with the two men coming in with drastically different momentum behind them. Barros has lost his last two, with a knockout in 2021 to the late Anthony Johnson followed by a third-round submission defeat to Alex Polizzi to place him on his first career losing streak. “Gugu” and his 100% finish rate will toe the line against Italy’s Biyong, who had a successful 2022 campaign by rattling off wins over Luke Trainer and Dragos Zubco. In the former victory, “Hemle” defused a rising undefeated prospect in Trainer, and earned only his second career win on the scorecards. Six of Biyong’s last seven wins have come by stoppage.

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