Yaroslav Amosov has never lost as a professional inside an MMA cage, but he’ll face the biggest challenge of his career by far on Friday when he takes on welterweight champion Douglas Lima in the main event of Bellator 260 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.
Lima will be making his first defense in his third run with the Bellator welterweight title.
Lima praises Amosov’s record, wrestling
Lima won the crown most recently by beating Rory MacDonald in the final of the 2019 Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix. Since then, Lima (32-8) has fought only once: a loss to Gegard Mousasi last October in an attempt to add Bellator’s middleweight title to his resume.
Lima enters his fight as a slight -130 favorite over Amosov (+105), according to PointsBet. But while the champion expects to win again, he has been effusive in his praise for his opponent. “He’s got pretty good wrestling. He strikes really good,” Lima told MMA Junkie. “He’s got a definitely impressive record. You don’t see that a lot. It doesn’t matter where you came from, where you fought. If you’re 25-0, you’re doing something right.”
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Amosov (25-0) hails from Ukraine. The 27-year-old won three world championships in combat sambo before moving into MMA full time. After racking up 19 wins on the regional scene in Ukraine and Russia, Amosov signed with Bellator in 2018.
He hasn’t slowed down since. Amosov has compiled six straight wins in Bellator, though four of those have come by decision. That includes a split decision victory over Logan Storley last November at Bellator 252 in his most recent fight.
Amosov says that if he wins, he hopes it’ll serve as an inspiration to the people he knows back in his hometown in Ukraine.
“I’m from a small city,” Amosov told MMA Junkie. “I want to show everyone the guy from a small city like me can prove to everybody that it’s possible and anything is possible that you want to achieve in your life.”
Bellator 260 card includes 11 fights
The fight could come down to how well Lima handles Amosov’s outstanding wrestling. The Ukrainian’s base in sambo gives him a different look than the one seen in more common amateur wrestlers who grew up in college competitions in the United States, or those who have learned Brazilian jiujitsu.
“He’s definitely got a different style than a bunch of other wrestlers. But, he’s good. It’s just different styles,” Lima said. “He’s definitely tough. But like I’ve said, I’ve been there with every type of [wrestler] out there like straight wrestlers, wrestler-strikers.”
Lima and Amosov will headline a Bellator 260 card that features a total of 11 bouts. In the co-main event, Paul Daley (+180) and Jason Jackson (-230) will meet up in a catchweight bout at 175 pounds, while featherweights Aaron Pico (-750) and Aiden Lee (+480) also face off on the main card.