Bellator MMA Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima is defending the gold against UFC veteran Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 180.
The champions feels that he has to prove a point when he faces Larkin in a few short months.
"That's a good motivation because now I can prove them that I can beat anyone,” Lima said to MMA Fighting. "When he signed, when Rory (MacDonald) signed… I wanted to fight Rory, but he said he would only be ready in July, and then he signed to fight (Paul) Daley, so that’s it. But I want to fight them both. If everything goes right, I’ll fight Rory later this year, too. I want to compete with the best, and they are ranked over me, so I want to fight them. It makes more sense to fight Larkin now because Larkin is coming off two good wins, and his last loss was a close split decision, so that’s good for us. I already fought Daley, so I’m cheering for Rory to win [laughs]. It will be better to fight him than fighting Daley again.”
This will be the first time that Lima has defended the gold since defeating Andrey Koreshkov to become champion at Bellator 164. One thing that the champion cannot understand is why the UFC is letting so many talented fighters go.
"I don’t understand why they let guys like Lorenz and (Ryan) Bader go,” Lima said. "Go figure. But that’s better for us. A new challenge. Many people say UFC fighters are better, and this is a chance to prove we can compete with anyone."
Bellator 180 takes place on Saturday, June 24 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York with Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.