Prospect Dhiego Lima “Shooting For The UFC”, “There’s Plenty of Guys There I Know I Can Beat”
Welterweight Says Bellator Contracts “Too Long”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Dhiego Lima may not be as familiar to fans as his older brother and Bellator star Douglas Lima, the 23 year-old prospect continues to show he’s not the only family member who could be headed to MMA’s bigger stages. After stopping Roger Carroll at a Wild Bill’s Fight Night card last month, Lima’s record now stands at 8-1, which includes four wins under the Maximum Fighting Championship’s banner. That’s not a bad resume to have when you’re a free agent and entertaining offers.
“That was the toughest guy I’ve ever fought before in my life,” said Lima in a recent appearance on Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing his win over Carroll. “It was good. I got that win and now I’m 8-1, two fight win streak, and I’m not under contract with anybody.”
“So, man, I’m just waiting now. Waiting for a call,” added Lima, whose only defeat to date came against rugged Strikeforce vet Nathan Coy, who scored a unanimous decision over him at MFC 32 last January. “If I have to I’ll take another fight, but I really want to get to the UFC.”
Of course, due to the incredible success that his brother Douglas has had in Bellator, one might be surprised by the fact that Lima didn’t mention the promotion as a possible destination.
“They seem to hold onto their fighters for too long,” Lima said. “That’s the thing; the UFC is the top promotion in the world you know? So that’s where I want to be. Bellator, they just seem like they want to hold their fighters for so long…until they work on their contracts I don’t really see me going there.”
“I’m shooting for the UFC,” Lima furthered. “I just want to be in the UFC. There’s plenty of guys there I know I can beat. I can really make a name for myself.”
It remains to be seen if the UFC is interested in signing Lima based off his current record, if he needs to score several more wins, or, add one more, high profile victory.
“I think it probably does if it’s like a short notice fight I’m thinking,” Lima said, when asked if he’s confident his current resume could prompt the UFC to call. “I’m thinking I probably need another finish or two you know? Because my win over Nick Hinchliffe was a decision, and I finished Roger, but I feel like I need another finish or so for them to be really interested in me.”
Due to tremendous growth of MMA, and the expansion of the UFC schedule, there are plenty of Octagon vets competing on the local circuit these days, as they try to work their way bacl to the promotion.
“I’m going to take it one step at a time,” noted Lima, who also holds a first round, knockout win over Jamie Toney. “If I have another fight come up I’ll take it. I will beat anybody out of the UFC right now. I will beat anybody man. I’m so focused right now, I’m confident, I’ve been training so hard, it’s like whoever comes up. I’ll fight anybody right now.”