The new Bellator middleweight champion will be crowned soon after becoming vacant this week. Bellator President Scott Coker announced on Twitter on Tuesday, that a fight between Douglas Lima vs Gegard Mousasi is set for the vacant middleweight championship at Bellator 243 on May 9. Also on the card will be Ryan Bader defending his Bellator light heavyweight championship against Vadim Nemkov.
Since we can’t have a cross-promotional superfight I’ll give you another.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) February 11, 2020
This fight is made after the unfortunate news that former middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr. had to vacate the championship due to being diagnosed with cavernoma. Lovato Jr. beat Mousasi by majority decision for the middleweight championship at Bellator 223 on June 22, 2019. When Lovato Jr. announced that he had cavernoma and that it was possible he would be vacating the championship, Lima announced that he was willing to move up to fight for the middleweight championship against Mousasi.
With wins over Andrey Koreshkov, Michael “Venom” Page and Rory McDonald, Lima won both the welterweight championship and Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix last year. Lima became a part of the conversation as one of the best welterweights in MMA today last year. Without a clear number one contender for the welterweight championship, Lima found the perfect time to move up in weight to fight for a second championship. If Lima wins the middleweight championship, he will be the third fighter in Bellator to hold two championships simultaneously.
Mousasi is looking to become a two-time middleweight champion. Bouncing back from a loss against Lovato Jr. Mousasi defeated Lyoto Machida by split decision at Bellator 228 on September 28, 2019. Like Lima, Mousasi also has a win over McDonald’s and will have the advantage of experience in MMA. Mousasi has been fighting in MMA since 2003 and has a record of 46-7-2. When Mousasi fights Lima, it will be his 56 fight in MMA. A win over Lima will not only make Mousasi a two-time middleweight champion but prove that Mousasi still can fight at the highest level.