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Ex-champ Douglas Lima books first fight since re-signing with Bellator

Douglas Lima will resume his Bellator career and return to the cage in San Diego on Sept. 7, when “The Phenom” takes on Dana White’s Contender Series veteran Aaron Jeffery in a middleweight showdown.

Promotional officials confirmed the booking to MMA Fighting.

The Bellator Champions card will feature Usman Nurmagomedov vs. Alexander Shabliy for the lightweight title in the main event live on MAX.

Lima (33-11) publicly complained he was put “on the sidelines for a year” after PFL allegedly deemed his purse to be “too high” following the PFL-Bellator merger. Lima ultimately reached a deal with the promotion in a matter of days, and now has a bout booked.

Lima was one of the most successful champions in Bellator history, beating the likes of Michael Page, Rory MacDonald, Andrey Koreshkov and Paul Daley, but had his back against the wall after losing four straight. Lima last fought in May 2023, defeating Costello van Steenis via decision.

Jeffery (14-5) won three of five under the Bellator banner, including finishes over Austin Vanderford and Fabio Aguiar. Jeffery, who lost a decision to Caio Borralho at DWCS in 2021, was on the losing end of a decision in his most recent bout versus Fabian Edwards.

The current Bellator Champions Series: San Diego lineup will see Raufeon Stots vs. Marcos Breno in the co-main event spot and Lorenz Larkin battling Levan Chokheli, Bellator announced Tuesday.

Stots (20-2) rebounded from a loss to champion Patchy Mix with a decision victory over Danny Sabatello this past November, boosting his promotional record to 8-1. Stots, who now holds two wins over Sabatello, has also beaten the likes of Juan Archuleta, Magomed Magomedov and Keith Lee under the Bellator banner.

Breno (15-3), on the other hand, is looking to bounce back from a defeat to Sabatello in his most recent appearance in April 2023, dropping his Bellator record to 1-1. The 135-pound talent won a decision over Josh Hill in late 2022 in promotional debut after beating fellow prospects Ary Farias and Leandro da Silva in the Brazilian circuit.

Larkin (26-8, 2 no contests), who stopped Alan Domínguez in under five minutes at PFL 6 this past June, re-enters the Bellator cage looking to put on a streak together after seeing his eight-fight unbeaten streak snap in a split decision to Andrey Koreshkov in July 2023.

Chokheli (13-2, 1 no contest) won his past three under the Bellator banner, collecting decisions over Roman Faraldo and Michael Lombardo before tapping Sabah Homasi in under two minutes at Bellator 299 in Dublin.

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