Douglas “The Phenom” Lima got the win, but more importantly, his title back this past Saturday at Bellator 232.
The icing on the cake was also winning the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix tournament which came with a $1 million purse.
Lima is now a three-time Bellator welterweight champion, and each time he regained the belt by beating the man he lost it to. Saturday he defeated, Rory MacDonald a former UFC title contender, who beat Lima to win the Bellator welterweight title in January 2018.
Recently, there has been much talk of which current Bellator fighters could actually succeed in the UFC.
Lets take a closer look at Lima’s chances in the “big leagues.”
Lima is 14-3, fighting in Bellator and has undoubtedly solidified his spot as one of the best fighters in the organization’s history. Lima is a finisher and is considered to be one of the top 170-pound fighters in the world.
When most MMA fans talk of the top welterweights in the world, the conversation normally starts and stops with Tyron Woodley, Carlos Condit, Robbie Lawler, Nick Diaz, and of course Georges St-Pierre.
Lima isn’t normally in the conversation because the UFC is viewed to have better competition than other MMA organizations. However, Lima said he should be in the conversation in an interview with Fightline, stating, “I put myself up there. I’m definitely not the best, but I’m training hard to be. I just want to fight the best and move up in the ranks. I watch all the 170 pounders. I’ll fight any of them.” Any champion would and should say this about themselves.
Looking at Lima’s record, he has had 7 fights against guys who have fought in the UFC or who are currently fighting in the UFC. He has compiled a 5-2 record in those fights. Losing to Rory MacDonald and Ben Askren, while beating Ben Saunders (twice), Lorenz Larkin, Paul Daley and MacDonald.
Let’s take a closer look at the fighter’s UFC records: Larkin 5-5, Saunders 9-9, Daley 2-1 (banned for life from the organization), MacDonald 9-4 in the UFC, and Askren 1-2 in the UFC (not the greatest win loss records while in the UFC).
Lima has an aggressive fighting style that UFC fans would love. Leg kicks are his specialty which are comparable to former UFC featherweight champion Jose’ Aldo. “The Phenom” has won six of his past seven fights and has established himself as the best welterweight in the world outside the UFC.
After losing to Askren, the American Top Team fighter, won 5 consecutive fights and won the vacant welterweight title for the first time.
Possible matchups for Lima in the UFC:
Leon Edwards: Edwards has a slick standup game with effective use of his elbows, this would be an action packed fight.
Jorge Masvidal: Masvidal has a variety moves in the octagon ranging from a solid ground game to his KO power. A striking contest between these two would be worth the price of admission.
Tyron Woodley: Woodley has power in both hands and could use his wrestling, if and when necessary, to keep Lima’s offense at bay.
Nate Diaz: This fight would be a standup war, but Lima would have to be cautious of Diaz BJJ skills as he can maneuver opponents into submission holds set up by his striking.
Colby Covington: Colby has a pace that is hard to match and his wrestling/takedowns are set up with a solid jab and good faints.
I think Lima would put on good fights in the UFC, but in this division he would have to focus his training on takedown defense/scramble moves since the welterweights in the UFC will grapple with him to negate his striking/kicking game.
I think the future is incredibly bright for Lima. He’s got superstar potential written all over him and hopefully we will get a chance to see him compete against the best welterweights inside the UFC Octagon.
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The Scrap’s Lee Brown is a 22-year Air Force Vet, fan of all sports – especially UFC, NFL & NBA, and cohost of Lee N Keys Real Talk Podcast. You can follow Lee on Twitter (@Levanstian757) and Instagram (@Va121Lee).