Dhiego Lima Hoping XFC 25 Win Will Open Door to UFC
Says Opponent Rainey “Hasn’t Really Been Tested”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Douglas Lima has made a name for himself under the Bellator banner and is one of the promotion’s top stars, his younger brother Dhiego has been open about the fact he’s gunning for a spot in the UFC. To that end, Lima has put together a pro record of 8-1 to date, and the welterweight is hoping a win over fellow prospect Ricky Rainey on September 4th, will produce ‘the call’.
“Definitely, yeah definitely man,” Lima said on a recent edition of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing whether a victory over Rainey at XFC 25 could open the door to a UFC contract. “I think the winner of this fight is going to have a big chance to get in there. I’m sure they know about this fight, I’m sure a lot of people know about this fight, and they’re looking forward to it. I really think whoever wins this fight is going to head to the UFC.”
Of course, in an age where there is no shortage of MMA cards being held, the fact that the XFC fight will be broadcast nationally on AXS TV, will certainly help get the word about each man’s performance.
“It’s a great way to put my name out there,” added the 23 year-old Lima, who has scored several wins under the Maximum Fighting Championship in the past, which also broadcasts its cards on the network “I’m glad to still be fighting on AXS TV; I’m excited.”
While Lima has put together an impressive record since he turned pro in 2010, the fighter understands that being the younger brother of Douglas has brought more attention to his career.
“My first pro fight was the co-main-event on a big show, so it was all because of his name,” Lima acknowledged. “They’re like ‘oh, Douglas’s little brother’, so definitely, ever since I started fighting everyone’s been like ‘oh, Douglas’s brother, oh my god, we’ve got to keep an eye on him.’ So it’s been great man; getting the attention and just getting ready for the big stage you know?”
Although Lima continues to drive towards the “big stage”, in Rainey, he’ll have to get past a 8-1 fighter who is coming off three consecutive wins in the XFC.
“We were supposed to meet here before in Atlanta, but always something didn’t work out,” said Lima, who reportedly attended the recent TUF 19 tryouts. “It’s finally going to happen; it took going to friggn New Mexico to fight. We live right next to each other but it is just the way it is.”
Most recently, Rainey took out Reggie Pena in the first round at the promotion’s 24th card in June.
“There’s really nothing that jumps out,” Lima noted, when asked if there’s a specific element of Rainey’s game that concerns him. “He’s got a good right hand and his stand-up is pretty good. He’s hasn’t really been tested man; In my opinion he hasn’t really fought anybody.”
“He hasn’t been pushed by a wrestler; he hasn’t been pushed by a great striker, or a jiu-jitsu guy, so it’s just he has a lot of great things but he hasn’t really been tested,” added Lima, who spent time training with American Top Team in Florida to prepare for the bout. “So we’re going to find out if I’m going to test him. I want to test him everywhere.”
XFC 25 will be hosted by the Albuquerque Convention Center, and will feature Stephanie Eggink taking on Angela Magana in the main event.