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Douglas Lima sees Bellator 283 headliner with Jason Jackson as 'a win-win situation'

Despite recent setbacks, former welterweight champ 'ready to get back on track and get this title back' at Friday's event.

From the outside looking in, it might appear former Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima is in a bad spot. After all, the 34-year-old Brazilian is on the first three-fight slide of his 16-year professional career, going more than two-and-a-half years without tasting victory.

Of course, the first of those losses actually came against former middleweight champ Gegard Mousasi, when Lima looked to move up a division in a bid to hold two titles simultaneously. The second loss came to current welterweight champ Yaroslav Amosov, while the third was against top contender Michael "Venom" Page.

Sure, Lima would much rather have his hand raised every time out, but he also realizes the reality of facing the absolute best in the world each time he steps in the cage.

"It's the game we play," Lima told MMA Underground. "Every fight is like this. Every fight is tough. 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.

"For me, it's a win-win situation right now, no matter what. I mean, stuff like that doesn't bug me. I don't care what people say. I feel good in training, man. I don't feel like I lost a step. You know what I mean? If I ever see that, if I see that I can't compete at the top level anymore, I'll hang the gloves up, but right now, I feel good, man."

Lima will continue his run against the sport's top competition at Friday's Bellator 283 event, which airs on Showtime (10 p.m. ET) from Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash. Lima (32-10 MMA, 14-6 BMMA) enters the contest ranked No. 3 in the promotion's 170-pound rankings, and he'll take on fast-rising contender Jason Jackson, who sits just behind him at No. 4.

Lima knows it's another difficult assignment but insists he wouldn't want it other way.

"He's got some solid wins, and obviously since he came here to Bellator, he's been doing good," Lima said. "He's been winning fights, and that's what matters. He's fighting at the top level. Of course he deserves more respect. I take him very seriously. I mean, if he's fighting me, ranked No. 4 in Bellator, I know he's doing something right.

"Tough opponent, man. He's durable. He trains with the best in the world, and he comes from a great gym, great coaches, so man, he's ready, you know? He sees levels like that every day in the gym. He's a champion caliber, you know what I mean? That's the type of guy that he is. He's got my respect, but I've still got to go in there and finish him."

Lima will have five rounds to accomplish the feat. Originally scheduled in the night's co-main event, an injury to the night's intended headliner meant Lima vs. Jackson was elevated to the card's main event, which took the bout from a three-round contest to a five-round affair. Lima said that was just fine with him.

"I mean, most of my fights, there's been five rounds, so it's just another one," Lima said. "I know it changed last-minute, but we always train for five rounds no matter what. The goal is always to fight for the title, so nothing really changed, and I'm excited to be here one more time and can't wait. I'm looking forward to this one."

Lima's recent run certainly hasn't been his most successful, but an impressive win over a quality opponent like Jackson would quickly turn things back in the right direction. With more than 10 years under the Bellator banner, promotion officials are certainly aware of his upside, and his recent three losses have all been via decision, so it's not as if he's taken extensive damage in the matchups.

Friday's event marks Lima's 21st appearance for Bellator, and he believes there are plenty more in his future – including another run back to the title. A win on Friday would certainly help fuel that chase.

"Whatever happens, happens," Lima said. "I'm ready to fight him wherever. I'm ready to fight him on the ground. I'm ready to strike with him – trade punches, trade kicks.

"I feel it's going to be a good one – good one for the fans, good for me – and I feel good about this one. Feel really good, confident, ready to get back on track and get this title back."

This story first published at SI.com/MMA.