LONDON – They say no two fights are the same, but that won’t stop Douglas Lima from chasing the same finish that gave him victory over Michael Page in their first matchup.
Lima (32-9 MMA, 14-5 BMMA) handed Page (19-1 MMA, 15-1 BMMA) his only career loss via spectacular knockout at Bellator 221 in May 2019 and, after suffering back-to-back defeats in his last two outings, he sees a repeat performance as the perfect way to bounce back into form as he chases a title rematch with the man who took his belt at Bellator 260, undefeated Ukrainian Yaroslav Amosov.
“It’s a different fight, but I always feel better when I’ve fought someone before,” he told MMA Junkie during a London bus tour of the English capital on Monday. “You know a lot more about him, what he’s good at, what he’s not so good at. I’m 100 percent there’s a lot of stuff we’re going to do different. We’ve studied. My coach knows what’s the best weapons, what else we’ve got to change and we’re ready, man. We’re ready, we’re prepared. We’ve trained hard for this and I’m about to deliver another big knockout.”
Bellator 267 takes place Friday at The SSE Wembley in London. The main card airs on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Lima finds himself on his first losing skid since 2009, and his disgust at his performance against Amosov was evident as he explained how he sees his rematch with Page as an opportunity to get back to winning ways.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot from (the losses),” Lima said. “Every loss that I take I learn a lot from and my performance in that one was terrible. It was probably one of my worst performances. I didn’t do anything in that fight. In terms of fighting back, fighting off my back, I didn’t do anything. But that’s in the past. I don’t even think about that one much right now, especially with this fight coming up. I’m focused on ‘MVP’ now. Get this win, then I’ll go after him one more time.”
Given his need to get back into the win column, some may take the view that simply picking up the W would represent a good night’s work for the Brazilian. But Lima isn’t wired that way. He doesn’t want to just win – he wants the finish.
“No, never. It’s never just about the win,” he stated. “You’ve got to finish him. For me, the best way to win is finishing the fight. That first one happened (and) went viral and I’m about to do the same thing this time around, even better.
“I’ve got a lot to prove to myself and to the fans, because my last two performances were not good. Not good at all. I understand that and I know the fans are frustrated as well. I got a lot of heated messages, you know what I mean? So I’ve got to show them what I can do and this is the perfect fight to show it. It’s a big one, it’s a rematch over here in London and I’m super-excited. I’m pumped for it.”
So far, Lima is the only man to have found a way to win against the notoriously tricky Page. The key, he explained is a patient approach.
“He’s a puzzle and you’ve got to be able to solve it,” Lima said. “I did it one time. He’s very tricky. You can’t find sparring partners like him. I’ve just got to time that shot like I did last time, be patient and don’t fall for the tricks that he does, the dancing stuff – you can’t fall for that.
“I’ve seen a lot of opponents that he’s fought and almost everybody falls for it. They get mad, they put their hands down, try to do what he does, and that’s when they get caught. For me, I’m always focused on me. My hands are going to stay up the whole time, I’m going to fight how I fight, put the pressure on him and catch him – catch him like I did last time.”
And when he says “like I did last time,” he really means it. The shot was there for him in their first meeting, and he said it will be there again in the rematch.
“I think the right hand (finishes the fight), one more time,” he predicted. “The leg kick set it up the first time and I finished with the right hand. (I will) find a way to connect it. We’ll see, but it’s going to be the right hand that’s going to be the end, and the finishing touch. I don’t know if it’s going to be the kick that sets it up this time.
“I’m sure he’s done his homework and he’s going to come more ready for the kicks, but we’ve got other stuff for him. … Definitely expect a finish before Round 3.”
Douglas Lima def. Michael Page at Bellator 221: Best photos
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