Lima has suffered another injury that will postpone his Season
8 welterweight final against Ben
Sherdog.com on Tuesday confirmed with sources close to the
situation that Lima has torn cartilage his ribs and will be unable
to compete July 31 at Bellator
97, which takes place at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho,
N.M., and airs live on Spike TV. It is currently unclear whether
Saunders will compete on the card or wait for Lima’s return.
Lima and Saunders first met in November 2011 for the Season 5
tournament final, with Lima stopping “Killa B” via second-round
knockout. Following that victory, Lima challenged welterweight
champion Ben Askren,
falling in a unanimous decision last year at Bellator 64. “The
Phenom” then returned for the Season 8 tourney earlier this year,
knocking out Michail
Tsarev and Bryan Baker
to advance to the finals. However, a broken hand sustained during
Lima’s semifinal clash with “The Beast” forced Bellator officials
to move his rematch with Saunders from March to July.
Saunders, meanwhile, stands in the midst of his third tournament
appearance, having come up short in both the Season 5 and 6 draws.
The UFC veteran took a unanimous decision over Koffi
Adzitso in the Season 8 quarterfinals to set up a semifinal
rematch with Raul Amaya,
whom Saunders knocked out with a first-round head kick this past
February at Bellator 90. Saunders owns half of his 16 victories via
knockout and has collected an additional five submission wins in
his nine years as a pro.