A pair of top welterweights are set to collide on Friday night in Washington for Bellator MMA. Douglas Lima vs. Jason Jackson headlines Bellator 283 as the promotion makes its debut in the Evergreen State at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma.
It was only a few years ago that Lima (32-10) was in the conversation for top welterweight worldwide. Lima’s name was in the mix with UFC champion Kamaru Usman following consecutive wins over Andrey Koreshkov, Michael Page and Rory MacDonald. Lima bit off more than he could chew in moving up a weightclass to challenge Gegard Mousasi for the Bellator middleweight championship. The loss to Mousasi kickstarted Lima’s first career losing streak after 15 years as a pro. He lost his welterweight title to Yaroslov Amosov and dropped a split decision to Michael Page. Bellator 283 presents “The Phenom” with an opportunity to usurp the momentum of a fighter many peg as the next title challenger.
“It’s the game we play. Every fight is like this. Every fight is tough,” Lima said in an interview with The Underground. “I’ve been fighting the best of the world in my division, but it is what it is. When I was younger, you’d probably hear me crying, ‘Yo, should I keep doing this? This is not for me,’ but I mean, I’ve been in this long enough. I’ve been in this game for, like, 20 years, man. Nothing really changes. Some close fights, setbacks — stuff like that happens. Me, I’m just moving forward.”
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Jackson (15-4) has really came into his own under the Bellator banner. The “Contender Series” and “The Ultimate Fighter” veteran looked impressive in a split decision loss to Ed Ruth early in his Bellator tenure. It was strictly an upward trajectory from that point. Jackson has won five straight against Kiichi Kunimoto, Jordan Mein, Benson Henderson, Neiman Graice and Paul Daley. A win over Lima likely positions Jackson behind only champion Amosov, interim titleholder Logan Storley and recent title challenger Page in the rankings.
Things took an interesting twist on Thursday afternoon as Lima weighed in over the limit. The former champ came in at 172.8 pounds while Jackson weighed 171. He did not attempt to continue the cut. However, the fight will still happen on Friday as confirmed by Bellator officials.
Two promising lightweights occupy the co-main event slot. Sidney Outlaw was originally scheduled to fight Bellator lightweight champion Patricky Pitbull in Friday’s main event. The world champ was forced off the card with an injury and Outlaw drew a worthy replacement in Bellator debutant Tofiq Musayev. The RIZIN veteran previously beat Pitbull and Johnny Case on the same night in 2019.
Plus, rising lightweights Usman Nurmagomedov and Chris Gonzalez are set to battle it out in a featured bout. Nurmagomedov, cousin of UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov, has been nothing short of impressive in his first few appearances under the Bellator banner. The 24-year-old is unbeaten with a decision, knockout and submission victory. Gonzalez, meanwhile, is 6-1 since joining the promotion in 2019 with the lone loss coming against Goiti Yamauchi by TKO in 2021.
Here’s the fight card for Bellator 283 with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.
Bellator 283 card, odds
|Jason Jackson -190||Douglas Lima +160||Welterweight|
|Tofiq Musayev -160||Sidney Outlaw +135||Lightweight|
|Usman Nurmagomedov -650||Chris Gonzalez +475||Lightweight|
|Mukhamed Berkhamov -150||Lorenz Larkin +125||Welterweight|
|Davion Franklin -240||Marcelo Golm +200||Heavyweight
Bellator 283 viewing information
Date: July 22 | Start time: 10 p.m. ET
Location: Emerald Queen Casino — Tacoma, Washington
Douglas Lima vs. Jason Jackson: There is a changing of guards happening in Bellator. Lima, Mousasi and Ryan Bader have all lost their world titles to fresh faces in recent years. The likes of Amosov, Johnny Eblen and Vadim Nemkov have emerged as the next generation of top dogs. Lima has appeared sort of muted in recent performances. Many sided with him in a split decision loss to Page, but the performance was a far cry from the stunning second-round knockout he delivered to “MVP” in their first encounter. Earlier versions of Lima — perhaps “The Phenom” that notched seven straight wins by knockout or the more well-rounded iteration that dethroned Rory MacDonald — would be favored over Jackson. Not at this stage. Jackson is far from a finished product, but his ability to go the distance against solid competition earns him the right to be favored against the former champ. Expect Lima to capitalize on mistakes made by the junior fighter, but Jackson’s activity will carry him across five rounds. Jackson via decision