Douglas Lima recently took a trip down the memory lane and recalled his first sparring session with upcoming opponent Gegard Mousasi. Mousasi and Lima are scheduled to face each other in a cracker of a contest with the vacant middleweight title at Bellator 243 on 9th May.
Ahead of the fight, Lima opened up on the first time he and Mousasi sparred one another back in the day when Mousasi had just quit UFC and was preparing for his first bout at Bellator. In a candid interview with MMA Fighting, Lima detailed how the sparring session went and it turns out, Lima was embarrassed by Mousasi.
“I was training with my friend Soldic in Germany, and Mousasi goes there to spar every Saturday. He invited me to spar, and I accepted. I was completely out of shape and got beat up by everybody in the gym [laughs]. But it was great. I think I did one or two rounds of sparring with Mousasi. That was two weeks before his fight with Shlemenko, so he was in shape and I was dead, so he beat me up. I respect him a lot, that entire team is great. Nothing against him. It’s going to be a great fight and I’m going after the knockout the entire time.”
Although Lima got outclassed during the sparring session, he knows that it's been a long time since then and this is a proper fight. He insists that the fight will pan out differently than the sparring. He also said that he picked up a thing or two about Mousasi from the sparring and hopes to use them against the MMA veteran during the fight.
“This is a fight, you know? He obviously took something from that, and so did I. I picked up a few things here and there. But it’s completely different now, I can guarantee you that. As we always say, training is different from fighting.”
Lima said that he will be looking for the finish, but if push comes to shove, he will do whatever it takes to get his hand raised and the middleweight title wrapped around his waist.
“I’m always going for the knockout but whatever it takes, man, I want to win,” Lima said. “I always want the finish. This matchup right there, I know it will happen.”Published 28 Feb 2020, 22:12 IST