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Bellator champ Koreshkov not bothered by Lima's injury claims, but says all fighters deal with them
After losing Bellator’s welterweight belt to Andrey Koreshkov last year, Douglas Lima said that, impaired by injuries, he shouldn’t even have been in the cage that night.
But the champ, it seems, is not really having it.
Set to rematch Lima in today’s Bellator 164 headliner (it airs on Friday, via one-day delay, ok Spike), Koreshkov told MMAjunkie Radio that as far as he can tell, the then-champ seemed to be “in good shape” for the fight. And, even if he weren’t, it’s not like other fighters don’t deal with injuries themselves.
“It doesn’t bother me at all because I think it’s his problem, not mine,” Koreshkov said. “Everybody knows almost all the fighters, they are somehow injured for their fights, during their camps, etc., but also they’re not talking about their injuries.
“The problem is when they start talking about them when they leave. They’re trying to make an excuse for losing, so it doesn’t really bother me that he’s saying that.”
Bellator 164 takes place at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, but fight fans will have to wait a full day to watch the tape-delayed broadcast on Spike.
Since their first encounter, at Bellator 140 (watch the highlights above), each fighter has competed just once. Koreshkov successfully defended his belt with a unanimous-decision win over former UFC champ Benson Henderson in April, and Lima earned his way back into title contention by beating Paul Daley at July’s Bellator 158 event.
Speaking to MMAjunkie, a highly confident Lima said he’s going into today’s rematch with the same finish-driven mentality that he applies to all his fights, and that he expects a war.
Koreshkov, on his end, said he feels “great and very well-prepared” after doing the vast majority of his camp in Omsk, Russia, under the usual guidance of Alexander Schlemenko. But, as far as gameplans go, he didn’t want to elaborate too much.
“I think I will keep it a secret,” Koreshkov said. “Because you don’t want to speak about the gameplan before the fight. It should be a secret and surprise for everyone, especially my opponent.”