After what may have seemed like endless delays and disappointments, Douglas “The Phenom” Lima has finally been given his breakout opportunity.
Originally scheduled to step into the WEC cage over a year ago, immigration issues caused Lima to miss out on the opportunity, but as he recently told MMAWeekly.com, it only made him better prepared for his current success.
“It was pretty disappointing,” commented Lima. “I couldn’t fight because of immigration paperwork, but maybe it wasn’t the right time for me.
“I was 20 years old and it just made me work harder, so if the opportunity came back again, I’d be ready for it.”
And such an opportunity finally came Lima’s way earlier this year when he was invited to the MFC in September. He defeated one of the promotion’s top fighters in Ryan Ford, earning a welterweight title shot against Jesse Juarez at MFC 27.
In what would be one of his toughest tests, throughout much of the first two rounds Juarez dominated the fight, Lima was in a tough spot entering the third.
“I was just trying to stay cool,” said Lima. “I just kept thinking, ‘I’ve got to get him, I’ve got to tap him, I’ve got to win this fight.’ That’s all I was thinking, how I was going to get him.
“In the third round, he was gassed. He was just laying there and I was hitting him from the bottom and I went from submission to submission, and finally got the arm triangle.”
With the win, Lima took his first major MMA title and intends on staying focused as he becomes the hunted.
“It makes me want to train harder because I want to keep the belt,” he stated. “I’m going to stay hungry because everyone’s going to come after me, everyone wants what I have right now, and it gets me excited, I love it.
“It gives me a little more recognition right now, and makes me happy, so I’m going to train harder and keep winning.”
With his brother, Dhiego, winning by knockout earlier in the evening, Lima’s success becomes even sweeter.
“It was funny, before the fight we were talking how he was going to get the Knockout of the Night and I was going to get the Submission of the Night, and how it happened that we got the awards,” commented Lima.
“The Lima family did good that day. We cleaned house, and I hope the Lima brothers are going to be known some day like the Diaz brothers and the Shamrock brothers.”
Having closed out the year on a high note, Lima hopes to continue his success wherever and whenever he can.
“I want to thank American Top Team, Sucker Punch Entertainment, my brother and the guys who have helped me train,” closed out Lima. “I just want to keep fighting big fights, keep moving up the ladder and moving up the ranks, because I want to be known by everybody.”