Douglas Lima doubts the UFC would ever try to match him up against against their champion.
The Bellator welterweight title holder doesn’t think the UFC would take the risk pitting him against Kamaru Usman – the current UFC champion at 170 pounds. Lima (32-8 MMA, 14-4 BMMA) weighed in Friday about the potential matchup with Usman after being asked about it on Twitter.
“UFC won’t take the risk,” Lima posted.
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Lima has long been interested in facing Usman in a cross-promotional bout. Bellator has been keen to working with other promotions in the past, but the UFC has not. Former UFC and Bellator champions have left one promotion for the other with more frequency in recent years, but there never has been a fight between an active Bellator and UFC champion.
In 2019, Lima opened up about wanting to face Usman and hoped Bellator could work something out with the UFC.
“It’s not the name ‘UFC,’ or ‘Bellator,’ or ‘ONE FC’ – there’s killers everywhere, and I’ve been fighting all these guys. I’ve been beating them,” Lima told TMZ Sports. “(I’m a) three-time world champion, three tournament (wins), but they still don’t believe me. Now that (Bellator president) Scott Coker is doing the co-promotions – he’s doing that with Rizin – I would love if we would do that with the UFC.”
There’s never been talk on the matter between the two promotions, and it seems unlikely that will change anytime soon, as UFC president Dana White has turned down the idea of cross promotion fights.
Lima most recently fought this past October when he tried to become a two-division champion by fighting Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 250 for the vacant middleweight title. Lima lost the bout by unanimous decision. The defeat snapped a three-fight winning streak for the 33-year-old.
Usman is gearing up for his third UFC title defense. He takes on former teammate Gilbert Burns in the UFC 258 main event Feb. 13.