Douglas Lima welcomes Scott Coker, says Bellator will surpass Strikeforce


It’s a new era for Bellator, and Douglas Lima is anxious to enter the cage as the welterweight champion.

The Brazilian striker, who won the vacant 170-pound title with a second-round victory over Rick Hawn in April, told MMAFighting.com he plans to return in action in October against the winner of Andrey Koreshkov vs. Adam McDonough tournament final, set to headline the Bellator 122 card on July 25.

"My next opponent will be the winner of this fight, and I think it’s going to be a good fight," Lima said. "Both fighter are knocking people out, so I expect an explosive fight between them."

"I believe the Russian is the favorite," he added. "He’s younger and has more experience, already won a tournament, so I think he has a better chance at winning. But Adam surprised a lot of people in his last fights, and I think he’s capable of winning if he takes (Koreshkov) down."

Lima is not medically cleared to train hard yet after undergoing left knee surgery in April, and he won’t rush his recovery.

"I don’t know (when I will fight) yet, but I want to be back in October," he said. "My knee is not completely healed and I won’t be back until I’m 100 percent. But I’m confident that I will be good to go by October. I’m looking forward to fight again."

Lima won’t have Bjorn Rebney inside the arena when he fights again for Bellator, as the founder and CEO of the promotion was replaced by former Strikeforce head Scott Coker.

"I was surprised," he said of Viacom’s decision to replace Rebney with Coker. "I thought it was all good between them, but maybe they decided to change because business wasn’t the way they expected.

"I have nothing bad to say about (Rebney). He treated me well and I have to thank him for everything he did to me and wish him good luck. I think (Rebney) deserves all the respect because he created a promotion and did a lot of shows, and that’s not easy."

One of the first changes Viacom and Coker implemented was "move away from the tournament structure to a more traditional format," and Lima likes the idea.

"I think (Coker) knows what he’s doing," the Brazilian said. "He’s good on what he does, so I think it’s going to be good for the promotion. As a matter of fact, I like it better without the tournaments because the champions can fight more often, we don’t have to wait that much for new opponents."

Coker had success when attempting to compete with the UFC in his final years with Strikeforce, and Bellator’s welterweight champion believes he can do it again with Bellator.

"Bellator has a lot of room to grow especially with Viacom, that doesn’t have any financial problems," he said. "I believe that Bellator will be bigger than Strikeforce was. It will be even better."

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 25 days ago
  • 3 views

John S. Nash paid a visit last week to Bellator MMA headquarters to ask Scott Coker a wide range of questions including if he'd let his fighters box now that Premier Boxing Champions is going to be o read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 1 views

Bellator MMA President Scott Coker recently sat down for an interview with BloodyElbow, and the former Strikeforce boss is excited for what the future holds for his new promotion. Coker discusses Bel read news >>

  • 19 days ago
  • 0 views

There aren’t any titles on the line when Bellator MMA returns tonight, but the winners could put themselves nicely in line for shots at belts. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

  • 19 days ago
  • 1 views

Bellator MMA President Scott Coker believes that Chris Honeycutt is one of the brightest prospects on his roster and singled him out as one to watch on tonight at Bellator 133.Filed under: Bellator, read news >>

  • 17 days ago
  • 1 views

"There's hundreds of athletes that have been licensed and sanctioned in this state. So you can't just put them all together and say this is an issue. I think it should be monitored. When an athlete d read news >>

  • 16 days ago
  • 0 views

Bellator MMA President Scott Coker would support a worldwide drug-testing system for MMA fighters. But knowing such cross-promotional cooperation could be tough, he believes state athletic commission read news >>

  • 6 days ago
  • 3 views

Scott Coker seems to have a winning formula for television success. The formula goes a little something like this: Fill up a card with great prospects and great style fights. Upgrade your presentatio read news >>

  • 5 days ago
  • 3 views

Paul Daley saw Douglas Lima last November at Bellator 131. He said he knew then that Lima was not going to make it to Feb. 27. Daley, the British knockout artist, was supposed to challenge for Lima's read news >>

  • 3 days ago
  • 6 views

Since becoming President of Bellator MMA in June of last year, Scott Coker has been hard at work bringing about several changes to the Viacom-owned mixed martial arts promotion. He immediately nixed read news >>