Douglas Lima, Gegard Mousasi Meet for Bellator’s Vacant Middleweight Title
By Ross Markey
Douglas Lima and Gegard Mousasi will meet on May 9th. to determine the new Bellator middleweight world champion.
Former division champion, Gegard ‘The Dreamcatcher’ Mousasi, is presented with the opportunity to reclaim his previous status as Bellator middleweight champion on May 9th. – as he takes on current welterweight best, Douglas ‘The Phenom’ Lima, in a vacant title bout.
Yesterday, reigning 185-pound king, Rafael Lovato Jr. officially relinquished the world championship – as he battles the rare brain disease, cavernous hemangioma. The undefeated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout bested the previously mentioned, Mousasi last June in a majority decision showing to improve to 10-0 and become world champion.
Lovato Jr. revealed the potentially problematic diagnosis on a recent episode of UFC color commentator, Joe Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience – explaining how a radiologist confirmed the condition after a routine MRI ahead of his pairing with Mousasi.
The Oklahoma native spoke of his intention to return to active competition, if at all possible, but maintained he would continue to work alongside Bellator MMA in some facet if a return to mixed-martial-arts wasn’t possible.
Taking to his official Twitter account this evening – Bellator MMA president, Scott Coker announced the pairing between Mousasi and Lima, with the Brazilian attempting to become a two-weight world champion in the process. Coker also announced a light heavyweight championship pairing between Ryan Bader, and Vadim Nemkov.
“Since we can’t have a cross-promotional superfight I’ll give you another. 🚨 On May 9th. @Mousasi_MMA vs. @PhenomLima for the vacant @BellatorMMA middleweight world championship.
Mousasi, a former DREAM, Strikeforce, Cage Warriors, and Bellator MMA world champion recently returned to the win column, avenging a previous defeat to one-time UFC light heavyweight best, Lyoto Machida. Since his move from the UFC back in 2017, Mousasi has lodged four victories and has suffered just a single defeat.
As well as extending his contract with the promotion yesterday evening – Lima also booked his place in the vacant middleweight title bout. The supremely talented Goiás native has won his last three matches, managing a rematch victory over recent PFL signee and former welterweight best, Rory MacDonald, as well as a highlight-reel stoppage of Michael ‘Venom’ Page, and a final-frame submission of Andrey Koreshkov.