Bellator 250 Betting Pick: Douglas Lima vs Gegard Mousasi

Bellator is back this week with their 250th event and they are celebrating in style with a main event featuring two of the very best fighters in their entire organization.

Both Douglas Lima and Gegard Mousasi could be fighting in the UFC right now and potentially contending for a world title. Kamaru Usman’s wrestling may be a little too much for Douglas Lima but I give Mousasi a decent chance of beating him.

Douglas the Phenom Lima and Gegard Mousasi were originally to fight one another back in May but we all know that story.  This is about as good of a fight as you are going to see or at least I should say as high level of a fight as you were going to see inside of the Bellator cage.

Douglas Lima is the promotion’s welterweight world champion and Gegard Mousasi recently lost his light heavyweight title belt in a split decision to Rafael Lovato Jr.

The fight this Thursday, though, will be for the vacant Bellator middleweight championship of the world. One guy is coming up and the other going down.

So, does that mean that Gegard has the advantage here, or are we going with the angle of this being the best Douglas Lima we have ever seen?

We can make both arguments so I will spare you the back and forth.

This isn’t an easy fight to predict whatsoever so let’s go to the betting lines and see if we can find some value on either side.

Gegard Mousasi (-175) vs Douglas Lima (+150)

Gegard is getting some love here. I get it. He was the champ at 205 so why wouldn’t he be the favorite against a fighter two weight classes down even if that guy is the champ?

This betting line opened up at (-137) for the Dutchman and (+110) for his Brazilian opponent.

Lima is used to this spot. He is continually disrespected by the sportsbooks.

Lima has opened as the betting underdog in 5 of his last 6 fights and came out 5-1 in those contests. Two of the betting lines are understandable, though, I guess because they were rematches of fights in which he lost the first scrap.

These were against Andrey Koreshkov and Rory McDonald. Avenging both of those losses in convincing fashion is pretty darn impressive, especially doing it twice to the Russian. He hasn’t fought Gegard Mousasi yet, though. I don’t expect an easy fight for either guy.

Douglas doesn’t have a dominating style or he would be the betting favorite more often than not. This doesn’t mean he is going to lose, though. The man finds a way to win. He tapped out Koreshkov in the 5th round of their 3rd fight with a rear naked choke.

Please Note:
Statistically speaking, submissions are harder and harder to come by as the fight progresses. Any 5th round submission is pretty rad by me. That is as long as it doesn’t ruin one of our betting plays, of course.

I don’t think we are going to see either man tap out in this fight. Mousasi is one of the most calculating intelligent fighters the mixed martial arts world has ever seen. The Dutchman is almost always one step ahead of his opponents but he is 35 years old now and hasn’t looked great in his last two fights.

Douglas Lima isn’t too far back at age 32 but like the legendary Teddy Atlas says, it’s not always about how old the car is. It’s about how many miles you got on that thing.

Let me stop directly quoting Teddy or I will be in deep trouble with the grammar police in no time.

We’re firemen!

Somebody call R.L. Stine because I got those goosebumps down my back after hearing Teddy fire up Timothy Bradley.

The fighter went on to TKO his opponent, Brandon Rios, in the 9th round of that fight.

This one is scheduled for 5 rounds and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it goes the distance. Both fighters are just so high level.

Mileage wise, though, Gegard Mousasi is 45 years old. He might not look it but that probably has more to do with how calm of a person he is than it does how many times he’s been hit in the mouth.

46-7-2. That is pretty awesome.

Find me a mixed martial artist who has an 80% winning percentage over 50 fights.

I’ll wait.

He was fighting in PRIDE nearly 15 years ago. Mousasi defeated Mark Hunt, Melvin Manhoef, and Jacare Souza in DREAM in 2008. He fought Fedor a year later in M-1.

Gegard lost to a prime Mo Lawal in Strikeforce a decade ago. King Mo wasn’t king for very long but the time he was, he was virtually unbeatable. We shared a gym for years and to this day, Lawal is still the thickest dude I’ve ever seen.

Some guys have the massive bone structure or are extra long like Jon Jones but Lawal’s torso was an oak tree.

And this guy won his final 5 UFC fights, 4 of which he finished. Then he just up and left for Bellator. It was a shocking move that many fans didn’t like but you had to respect it.

I think this fight like many others comes down to wrestling. If Mousasi can’t control his opponent on the fence, take him down, and, of course, control him on the mat, I believe he has a great chance to cruise to a unanimous decision victory.

If Lima can utilize some well-placed calf kicks early on in the fight, I believe that will slow down the already slower man and at that point, Lima should be able to keep the range and keep this fight standing.

If we wanted to bet on the underdog here, we are getting him at the best price since the line opened.

That is nice but we can’t let value blind us. There is a reason the sportsbooks opened Mousasi up as the favorite and there is a reason the line moved.

I can see why but I think the mileage is finally catching up with the Dutchman. Lima does not fight like either of Gegard’s previous two opponents who were both difficult stylistic matchups for Mousasi.

  • One guy is a better grappler and bigger in Lovato and the other, Machida, is a bit of an anomaly.
  • Mousasi lost to Lyoto Machida in the UFC and it was good to see him avenge the loss but a split decision against a fighter over 40 is not the best look on paper.

Machida has looked great inside the Bellator cage lately, though. Must be his urine he drinks every morning that has his muscles/veins popping like that and his skin is almost red.

That’s some good stuff that HGH and Test, ehem, I mean urine. It’s definitely the pee, Lyoto. Keep telling yourself that.

Please Note:
If you weren’t aware, fighters get back on performance-enhancing drugs after leaving the UFC and thus the USADA testing pool.

This is important to note betting wise. After all, they could be struggling in the UFC because their hormone levels are so low from years of exogenous alterations. Then, they all of a sudden are performing like they did 5 or 10 years ago.

It’s nice to see this coming and get out ahead of the public.

I would be betting the over if I could find some round total betting odds but it looks like we are going to have to make a choice on the moneyline.

Yes, Gegard is the bigger man here but I don’t think the weight cut down to middleweight at 35 years old is a great idea.

Lima has never been finished in nearly 40 career fights in pro MMA and he has never been better

Lima is not cutting 15 pounds, which is going to make a difference in the later rounds and also in his punching power. His durability and footwork should get him there and I can see him defending more takedown attempts as the fight progresses.

My Pick
Lima

In Conclusion

This should be a really fun fight, guys. I wanted to pick more fights on this card but the betting odds for the rest were added in so late.

Gegard Mousasi is a living legend. He really is. The man has fought all over the globe throughout his entire career of over 50 professional mixed martial arts bouts.

The entire time, he has been the most respectful martial artist and I think that might be a big part of why he left the UFC. He probably wanted the money to match his winning percentage. The UFC, though, would prefer it more so if your pay matched your popularity.

Follow the money. Who knew, right?

We will see about that car mileage I spoke of regarding Mousasi. If he can spend a lot of time in top position on the mat, the chances of popping a tire or running out of gas decrease dramatically.

Get your bets in now and enjoy Bellator 250 this Thursday night!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.