Douglas Lima (right) has won his last eight bouts. | Photo: Keith Mills

Douglas Lima has an eight-fight winning streak and a berth in the Bellator Fighting Championships Season 5 welterweight tournament final, but the Atlanta-based Brazilian is not resting on his laurels.

The 23-year-old does not allow himself to look ahead; focusing on the task at hand has allowed him to get to this point. On Saturday at Bellator 57, he will face UFC veteran Ben Saunders in Rama, Ontario, Canada, with the winner receiving $100,000 and a shot at Ben Askren’s 170-pound strap.

“I feel like every fight is the biggest test of my career,” Lima said. “With this next fight, there is a lot on the line. I can’t let the media and the fans stand in the way. It will just keep me worried about everything. I’ve just got to go and fight smart and fight hard.”

That strategy has benefited Lima thus far, as he has notched victories over Steve Carl at Bellator 49 and Chris Lozano at Bellator 53 to set up his showdown with Saunders. Lima, who owns 11 career victories by submission, showcased another aspect of his game in a second-round knockout of Lozano. Lima was rocked early by a right hook from the Cleveland native but recovered to launch an assault of his own for the rest of the opening frame. In round two, Lima crumpled his opponent to the mat with a right hand at the 3:14 mark.

“I was expecting my fight with Chris Lozano to turn into a war. I wanted to keep it standing ... If I had the chance to take him down, I would [have], but I wasn’t gonna force too much on a takedown,” Lima said. “I’m glad everything worked out the way I said it would.”

While pleased with his own performance, the American Top Team Atlanta representative was also a keen observer of Saunders’ triumph over Luis Santos in the other half of the 170-pound bracket. “Killa B” forced Santos to tap to a keylock in the third round for the fifth submission victory of his professional career.

“They’re both good strikers, but I’m glad Ben went to the ground, because now I can see what he can do on the ground. I’m excited to fight him,” Lima said.

Lima has finished 17 of his 20 victories via knockout, technical knockout or submission. Avoiding the judges’ scorecards is something “The Phenom” strives to do each time he sets foot inside the cage, but he also wants to make sure the fans are entertained.

“My goal is to go for all three rounds and do my best to finish, and then I will be happy,” Lima said. “My main goal is to finish the fight in a good way so people can really see that I am for real.”

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