Douglas Lima will enter the Bellator cage Friday night with two goals in mind, defeating the heretofore undefeated Ben Askren and walking away with the Bellator welterweight championship.
The Brazilian striker will be fighting for the fifth time on Canadian soil, having previously competed in the Alberta-based Maximum Fighting Championships, and relishes the opportunity to walk away with the gold in front of his Canadian fans.
It feels good to finally to be back here with the fans again. I love fighting here in Canada this will be my fifth fight here so it’s real exciting for me.
My first time here, it was pretty big. Very exciting, very loud a lot of people cheering me on. Hopefully I’ll get the same support from the crowd again. I feel more comfortable here, people know me better. [Having] people behind you in spirit, it’s a good feeling.
The bout promises to be a classic striker versus grappler match-up, with Lima’s goal to be able to connect heavily on Askren before the elite-level wrestler can take him down and control Lima from the top position. When asked how he plans to counter Askren’s wrestling advantage, Lima nods and proceeds to talk strategy.
I’ve been working a lot on my wrestling defense, my coaches are helping me out and my training partners, so I’ll be sure to be ready for him. Jiu-jitsu against his wrestling should be an interesting fight.
I’ve been training for almost 10 years already. I’ve got a lot of jiu-jitsu so I’m familiar with the ground. That’s the mistake I think most of his opponents make, they’re scared to go to the ground with him just because he’s a good wrestler. I don’t think that’s going to change anything with me, I’m comfortable there.
Lima’s final question in the media scrum was being asked the best way to deal with a world-class wrestler. A smile comes over his face and he gives a succinct “punch him in the face”. We’ll see how Lima’s plan works out for him on Friday night.