Gegard Mousasi thinks he has every advantage in Bellator title fight vs. Douglas Lima

Gegard Mousasi has no ill will toward Douglas Lima, but he thinks the welterweight champion is walking into a nightmare matchup when he goes for the Bellator middleweight title in May.

After Rafael Lovato Jr. was forced to relinquish the 185-pound belt because of a brain condition, Mousasi (46-7-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) was tabbed to fight Lima (32-7 MMA, 14-3 BMMA) for the vacant title at the promotion’s May 9 event from SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

The last time a reigning 170-pound champ moved up to pursue more Bellator gold, it did not go so well. Mousasi dismantled Rory MacDonald for a second-round TKO at Bellator 206 in September 2018, but Lima will try to forge his own path and get a different result.

Mousasi said Lima is a better fit physically at middleweight than MacDonald, but he doesn’t think the Brazilian’s style lends itself well to the upcoming matchup.

“Last time I was fighting I saw him and said, ‘Wow, you’re a big guy,'” Mousasi told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “I hugged him. He’s really big. So, he’s not a small welterweight. He’s going to be big. I don’t think there’s going to be a huge difference in weight, but there’s going to be a size difference. I’m going to be bigger and stronger, I believe. It’s going to be tough for him.”

Mousasi said he’s confident anywhere the fight, but he can’t see many avenues to a loss. Lima is tied for the most knockout wins in Bellator history. However, his power is unproven at middleweight.

“I feel like I’m better at the standup, and that’s his strength, and when I’m on the ground I’m stronger,” Mousasi said. “I don’t know where he feels he has the advantage. I’m not underestimating him because he’s one hell of a fighter, but I feel like I’m better at the standup, and that’s his strength. I feel like I have the reach and the standup and technique better than him. I can beat him at his strongest points, and I can also beat him at his weakest.”

Should Mousasi vs. Lima play out primarily as a striking affair, “The Dreamcatcher” thinks the advantage tips significantly in his favor. Mousasi has dealt with almost every style of striker during his storied combat sports career, and he can’t see anything Lima offers in that area other than a potential one-shot finish.

He intends to navigate his way through that and ultimately reclaim the title he lost to Lovato last June.

“If he wants to win, I think he has to knock me out,” Mousasi said. “And technically I’m better. That’s the only way I see he can beat me: If he catches me when I make a mistake. Other than that, I can beat him in the standup.”

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