Dhiego Lima Intends to Keep MFC Championship a Family Affair
By Kelsey Mowatt
Not every younger brother wants to step into his big brother’s ‘shoes,’ but rising welterweight Dhiego Lima wouldn’t have it any other way.
Recently, Lima’s older sibling Douglas ended his reign as the Maximum Fighting Championship’s welterweight champion when he signed on to compete in Bellator’s season five tourney this fall. Since the 22 year-old Dhiego has gone undefeated in three MFC fights, however, it may not be long before another Lima is challenging for the promotion’s welterweight belt.
“With him signing over there that’s the plan,” said Lima while discussing his brother’s departure from the MFC. “Before he signed with them he called me and said ‘listen; I’m going to get the belt with Bellator and this belt is for you. It has Lima written all over it.’ You know he didn’t lose it; he just had to give it back. But he told me ‘hey, it’s yours. Go get it back.’”
Lima has positioned himself in the MFC title shot mix with victories over Bill Fraser, Josh Taveirne and most recently Jamie Toney, and with three fights still remaining on his contract, the Atlanta fighter believes he has all the time he needs to capture the welterweight belt.
“I still have a few fights so I’m not worried about the title shot,” Lima told FCF. “That’s what I want but it’s whenever they give it to me; it’s whenever I’m ready. I’m just going to keep winning man. They know I’ll fight anybody, so if they give it to me now, I’ll go for it, if they want to wait for the future, that’s fine. Promoters know what they’re doing; that’s their job. I have plenty of time you know?”
It will be interesting to see who the MFC decides to match Lima up against next, as the promotion has been known to develop local talent, as well as bring in more established veterans from organizations like the UFC.
“Like I said, I’ll fight anyone, but I know Sheldon Westcott is really good right now,” said Lima, while discussing the Albertan fighter who has also gone undefeated in three MFC bouts. “He’s like me right now; we’re both young and we’re both trying to get experience to see where we stand. I see us fighting in the future, maybe at some point for a title shot.”
If there were any questions remaining as to whether Lima was deserving of prospect status, the Ascension MMA fighter did his best to answer them in his aforementioned knockout of Toney. Not only was it Toney’s first loss in seven fights, it was the first KO defeat of his 20 fight-plus-career.
“I liked it,” Lima said when asked to assess his latest performance. “Usually I come out swinging; usually I come out firing but that’s when I’ve studied my opponents a lot. I do my homework; I watch a lot of fights on YouTube to see what they’re going to do, but this one I couldn’t find any film on him.”
“I had heard he was with Bas Rutten,” Lima added. “So I knew he was going to have good stand-up and I had also heard that he was a brown belt under Jorge Gurgel, so he pretty much had the whole package. That’s why I had to start slow, but as the fight went on I figured out he wanted to stand which is my game you know? I started to feel comfortable and caught him.”
Lima’s sixth straight win came approximately sixteen months after he made his pro debut in February, 2010, and the welterweight was quick to thank one man in particular for all of his success to date.
“I got to thank my brother for everything man,” said Lima. “Always having him in my corner, motivating me, I can’t lose when he’s with me.”
Photo courtesy Maximum Fighting Championship