Douglas Lima is a two-time Bellator welterweight champion and regarded as one of the top fighters in his division.
But the 29-year-old Brazilian has yet to earn a win that can define his career.
That could change at Bellator 192 next Saturday night when he meets former UFC title contender Rory MacDonald in the main event of the first event on Paramount Network. The card goes down from The Forum in Los Angeles.
An American Top Team student, Lima (30-6) has finished 25 of his 30 victories, including 14 knockout wins. He won back the title from Andrey Koreshkov in 2016 when he stopped him in the third round in Israel.
Lima defended his title at Bellator NYC this past June, downing Lorenz Larkin. He also holds wins over Paul Daley, Rick Hawn and Ben Saunders, but is lacking that marquee victory.
In 2012, Lima challenged then-Bellator champion Ben Askren for the title after winning a tournament crown. But he was bested over the course of 25 minutes and five rounds by the unbeaten fighter.
On that night, Lima was denied a trademark victory. He’s posted a 8-1 mark since with the lone loss being via decision to Koreshkov in 2015 for the belt.
Bellator has shown its commitment to Lima, signing him to a two-year, six-fight contract back in September.
Much like many of the top fighters in Bellator, getting the chance to prove yourself against a well-known commodity like MacDonald is the opportunity of a lifetime. It would be careless of Lima to let that chance slip past him, so you can bet he’ll be focused on the task at hand come fight-night in L.A.
And this just might be the best time for Lima to do it vs. MacDonald, as the Canadian has fought just once since the summer of 2016, making his promotional debut in May with a second round submission vs. Daley.
During his UFC run, MacDonald had many classic wars with the likes of Stephen Thompson, Robbie Lawler and current UFC champion Tyron Woodley. Despite being just 28 years old, his body has started to show signs of fatigue recently, leaving him open to Lima’s attacking style.