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Douglas Lima and The Underrated

A post shared by Douglas Lima (@phenomlima) on Jun 3, 2019 at 6:46am PDT

   In the aftermath of Bellator 221, it appears Douglas Lima has a great chance of recapturing the belt he lost to Rory McDonald in January last year. His KO victory over Michael “Venom” Page was exciting but not surprising. My pre-fight prediction included MVP’s stand up style being problematic due to Lima’s powerful low leg kicks. While MVP is very agile and unpredictable, it only takes 1-2 of Lima’s low leg kicks to land and cause serious damage. The way MVP often puts his lead leg out I figured it was only a matter of time until he connected and hurt MVP. With the lackluster performance by Rory MacDonald against the gritty veteran Jon Fitch (not to mention Rory’s post-fight speech), I’m not convinced Lima will get the rematch he desires. For some MMA pundits, Ed Ruth was the dark horse of the current Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix. Neiman Gracie more than took care of business vs Ruth, he appeared to be multiple levels above the 3x NCAA D1 champion when it comes to MMA grappling.  

   Douglas Lima is a 13 year veteran of MMA who’s only 31 years old. Most people consider around 30 years old to be the prime age for competing in MMA. Lima has only been knocked out once, in 2007 by Matt Brown. He’s only been submitted once, Brent Weedman in 2008. His professional record is 31-7 but he’s only lost 3 times since 2009 (Ben Askren 2012, Andrey Koreshkov 2015 and Rory McDonald 2018). Since his decision loss to Eric Dahlberg in 2009, Lima is 19-3 with 14 finishes. Despite his loss to Koreshkov via unanimous decision in 2015, he’s now 2-1 vs Koreshkov with 2 finishes (KO 2016 & sub-2018). Losing a close decision to Rory MacDonald is nothing to be ashamed of. Askren had a fairly dominant victory over Lima but not nearly as dominant as Askren has been over most people he’s defeated. Askren was once asked in an interview “Who’s hit you the hardest in MMA?” and his answer was “Douglas Lima when he kicked me”.

A post shared by Douglas Lima (@phenomlima) on Apr 22, 2019 at 11:25am PDT

Unfortunately a portion of the western hemisphere’s MMA fans still have the idea that a fighter is a “tomato can” unless they’re a top-ranked fighter in the UFC. True MMA fans know this is false. Eddie Alvarez moved from Bellator to the UFC and despite losing his first fight vs Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision, he was able to win his next 3 fights and capture the UFC belt with a 1st round knockout of Rafael Dos Anjos. Eddie Alvarez may have received the nastiest injury of his career in his One FC debut. Demetrious Johnson had a difficult first round in his One FC debut and he’s in the conversation for being the GOAT of MMA. I’d rather forget what just happened to Sage Northcutt. His last fight sadly reminded me of Ilima-Lei Macfarlane beating up the “soccer mom”, except way more brutal. If I’m a close friend of Sage I’d be telling him it’s probably time to figure out a new career path. The point is Douglas Lima is not beating up “tomato cans”. His record over the last decade proves he isn’t losing to anything less than the best fighters at 170 on the planet.

A post shared by Douglas Lima (@phenomlima) on May 8, 2019 at 4:57pm PDT

Though the UFC still likely has the best overall top talent pool, it’s apparent the gap has shrunk tremendously in the last 5 years. Bellator and One FC have massively stepped their game up. The results are shown when fighters decide to move to a new organization, which we’re seeing a lot more of lately. If Douglas Lima jumped into the UFC’s monstrous welterweight division he’d be an instant threat. I can pick any fighter at welterweight on the UFC’s 170lb roster and find ways Lima gives them problems. As referred to above his low leg kicks are a huge problem, they can debilitate anybody. The hematoma Lima caused to MacDonald’s leg was nasty, the fact Rory was able to battle through that adversity and get a decision win was incredible. When Rory was asked how badly that injury has he claimed it was one of the most painful things he’s experienced in his life.

It’s time for more people to start respecting Douglas Lima as one of the best welterweights on the planet. In my humble opinion he’s easily in the top 10 globally at 170, perhaps even top 5. It’s also time more MMA fans (especially in North America) start recognizing that great fighters are in all the large organizations as well as smaller organizations. The UFC’s biggest star, Conor McGregor, came from Cage Warriors and had no problems in the UFC until he moved up to 155 and ended up fighting Nate Diaz at 170 on short notice. Fans don’t need a single mega organization to hold all the best fighters in the world. The world is too massive for that, multiple good promoters are necessary to accommodate the current talent pool the world has. Joe Rogan expresses the same thought when speaking of the global market of MMA. Hopefully, MMA will reach a place where cross-promotional fights become commonplace. The only way I see it possible is if one of two things happens; promoters become less greedy or a law is put in place that gives the fighters more power to choose whom they fight and where (like the Ali Act for boxing).

Bellator and Rizin are the bright light of cross-promotional fights. I’m intrigued to see how they progress with it and if more organizations try to follow their lead. Dana White felt burned by Pride so badly years ago that it seems doubtful he’ll try cross promoting again. Then again he did allow the Demetrious Johnson/Ben Askren “trade”, so I suppose anything is possible. In the end, MMA fans want to see the best compete against the best. Hopefully, the mega-rich promoters of MMA can figure out how to deliver that to the fans who pay their way. To see the true best vs the best there must be a point where cross-promotional fights are able to take place within all major organizations. Figure it out, big guys! Let go of some of your greed. Get yourself paid but give the fighters more options and give the fans what they want because, without them, you wouldn’t exist.

Jason Marlowe, UnknownMMA

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