Just a couple weeks out from his first fight since June of last year, Lima’s originally scheduled opponent, Bruno “B.C.” Carvalho was forced out of their bout. The two were slated to meet at MFC 32 on Jan. 27 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Lima refused to let it affect him.
“It doesn’t change a lot because I was already at the end of the camp,” Lima told MMAWeekly.com. “Bruno is a black belt who has good wrestling and great stand-up, so I was pretty much training everything.
“It doesn’t matter who I face, I’m ready to take on anybody. I’ve been training way too hard for this fight. It’s not going to bother me one bit – if it was him or whoever it is – I’m ready to go in there and do some damage.”
As things often do happen in the industry, multiple opponents have been considered for Lima, before the MFC settled on Strikeforce veteran Nathan Coy.
“I was going to dictate the pace (against Carvalho),” said Lima. “I wasn’t going to follow him; he was going to have to follow me. I was training my game plan for me, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to work on anybody.”
Lima’s confidence is not a surprise considering that he’s one half of the sport’s premier up-and-coming family of fighters with his brother, former MFC welterweight champion Douglas Lima.
“I feel like we’re getting to the top real quick,” said Lima. “Especially it’s much better for me, because I’m the younger one. I still have only six fights, but I’ve been to every fight he’s had. It’s pretty much like I’ve conquered the same things, and that I’ve been there.
“That’s why I feel very confident when I fight. I’ve already experienced the high level that he’s been on. It has helped me so much.”
Rather than be driven by a need to out-do his brother, Lima told MMAWeekly.com that the two of them support each other. Still, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any light-hearted ribbing between them.
“There is no competition,” he said. “We never got into fights or stuff like that, we’re always pretty nice. Though, I tapped him for the first time sometime last year. It’s the only time I tapped him, so that created a little bit of a game where he had to tap me again. Other than that, it’s nothing (serious).”
With a load of talent, and the charisma and personality that could make him a star, Lima’s goals for 2012 are more akin to a fighter who wants to work his way up, rather than cash in quick on his growing media exposure.
“Right now I have a full time job and it’s getting kind of hard,” he said. “It’s hard to train, hard on my wife and kid. By the end of this year I just want to be a full-time fighter, and I’m working really hard to accomplish that.
“I think that’s the way it should be. I’m about to turn 23 this year, so there’s no really reason to rush, not at all. Some of these guys rush their careers. They are prospects and then they jump right in there, and then they fall. I don’t want that. I want to take my time, but once I get in there I want to stay there. I don’t want to have one or two fights and get kicked out or whatever. When I get in there, I’m going there to stay; to make a name (for myself) and win a championship.”
(UPDATE – This article originally was published with a photo of Douglas Lima, but has been corrected to with a photo of Dhiego Lima.)