Douglas Lima says Rory MacDonald won't underestimate him in Bellator 232 title rematch

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Douglas Lima expects a better version of Rory MacDonald in their high-stakes rematch at Bellator 232 in October.

After putting on one of the more memorable battles in company history at Bellator 192 in January 2018, Lima (21-5-1 MMA, 3-1-1 UFC) will challenge MacDonald (31-7 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) for the title in the finals of the welterweight grand prix, which also awards the winner a $1,000,000 prize.

The pair gave their all over five rounds in the first meeting, and while he came out on the wrong end, Lima brings nothing but positivity away from the contest.

“I learned so much from that fight,” Lima told reporters, including MMA Junkie, in a scrum at Bellator 225 on Saturday. “Just the heart he brought on that last one. The guy had one leg, was still able to finish on top in that last round. I really learned a lot from him in that fight. I’ve got him to thank for that. It made me a better fighter, I already showed that against (Andrey) Koreshkov. That fight IQ, everything just got better. And I’m still learning. Still getting better, still fixing some stuff and I can’t wait to show it in October.”

The rematch between Lima and MacDonald headlines Bellator 232, which takes place Oct. 26 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. And although Lima got a handful in the first contest and lost his 170-pound belt, he thinks MacDonald will bring an even tougher fight next time.

“I expect a better one for sure,” Lima said. “I think he’s going to be more prepared this time. Maybe the last time he didn’t really respect me as a fighter the way he should. That’s my opinion. I think he’s going to come way more prepared this time, he’s going to come ready for the leg kicks and good fighters, when we fight each other, bring out the best of each other. That’s what I’m expecting here.

Lima clarified he didn’t mean he thinks MacDonald doesn’t disrespect him, but rather he won’t be “underestimated” and will have a better understanding of what he’s getting himself into.

Whether MacDonald is at his best or worst, though, Lima expects to defeat MacDonald and earn all the accolades that come along with it. He doesn’t think that will mark the end of their competitive rivalry, however, because he said Bellator 232 won’t be the last he sees of MacDonald.

“Absolutely (I see a trilogy),” Lima said. “It’s a big fight, he’s got a big name and he’s definitely a worthy opponent. We can fight five times. It’s just a fight people want to see. We had a great fight the first time around. Not so much on my side, but it was a good fight. People told me it was a good fight so I believe them. We’ll see what happens.”

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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