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Catch up with Bellator 221’s Douglas Lima ahead of ‘MVP’ fight

Former Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima is in the running for another title or two. 

Lima (30-7 MMA, 12-3 BMMA) will square off with Michael “Venom” Page in Saturday night’s Bellator 221 co-feature. It’s the semifinal of the welterweight grand prix, which means he’s two fights away from the tourney crown and $1 million prize that goes with it. And with the other semi featuring current welterweight champ Rory MacDonald against Neiman Gracie for the title, a win in the finals would also make Lima Bellator welterweight champ.

Bellator 221 takes place Saturday at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., near Chicago. The main card streams on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.

MMA Junkie recently caught up with Lima to talk the fight with Page (14-0 MMA, 10-0 BMMA) and a whole lot more:

Can you talk about your last fight, when you beat your rival Andrey Koreshkov again?

It was good. Beating Koreshkov again was very important to me. I was able to break our tie. He beat me by decision the first time around, and I beat him the last two times. I’ve said that I was hurt when I first fought him. Some people saw that as making excuses. But I knocked him out after that, and submitted him more recently. If there was any doubt, it should be gone now. I don’t want to have to fight him again. He’s very tough. But it’s always a good thing to face guys like that. I was very happy with this last victory.

What can you say about Michael Page, who most recently beat Paul Daley in the tournament?

I thought it was an interesting fight. It was a bit different from what we expected. We were expecting more striking exchanges. Instead, it was much more technical and thought-out. Paul Daley surprised folks with a good takedown strategy, and sharp wrestling. I think either one could have won. It was a close fight. I liked that Michael Page proved that he can face top fighters. A lot of people would say that he had never faced a renowned opponent. Paul Daley is a veteran who’s fought everyone in our weight class. It was an important win for Michael Page. He’s intelligent. He has a very distinct style. He moves fast. He’s dangerous. I can’t wait to face him. I’m a fan of his striking. I think his standup is really good. I want to test myself on the feet, for sure. It’s going to be my muay Thai against his kickboxing. That’s what I want to show. I have no plans to avoid a standup fight. It is what I want.

How’s your training camp going?

Things are going great. I’ve been training since beat Koreshkov, last September. I had no injuries. I’ve been with the same team for quite some time, under Roan Carneiro. Finding sparring partners just like Page would be very difficult, but my coaches know what they’re doing. I’ll also be spending a couple of weeks in Thailand. My personal preference is to face a striker. I’m loving this. Our plan is ready. I’m healthy. I can’t wait. It’s going to be an excellent fight between the two of us.

Thoughts on talking trash to sell a fight?

A lot of people try to sell fights by talking crap. But it’s pretty fake. I’ve never liked it. I sell myself by the way I fight. I’ll never be fake. I’d rather be me and show my work, instead of being fake. Trash-talking makes the sport a joke. Got to be real.

Anything else?

I want to get the belt in any way possible. I would like to get it back from Rory MacDonald, since he took it from me. It’s something that still bugs me. But whoever makes it to the final is fine. Neiman Gracie has shown that he’s very tough too, when he surprised everyone by beating Ed Ruth. I’ll be ready. But Michael Page is in front of me now. I would not underestimate him. He’s very talented and still undefeated. My focus is on him only. My ultimate dream, of course, is having the belt again before the end of the year.

For more on Bellator 221, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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