At MFC 29, welterweight champion Douglas “The Phenom” Lima proved once again that he’s one of the best up-and-coming fighters in the weight class.
In what was his most explosive performance to date, Lima quickly dispatched former UFC fighter Terry Martin in just over a minute to retain his title.
“I trained really hard and I knew I was going to finish the fight,” Lima told MMAWeekly.com. “I was well-prepared, confident and everything turned out the way I planned.”
Known mainly for his ground game, it took the taller, longer Lima only a couple of punches to floor Martin en route to a TKO victory.
“I didn’t want to say anything (before the fight), I didn’t want to be cocky, but I knew I was going to beat him standing,” stated Lima.
“My coaches told me to use the reach on him because he was short. That’s exactly what I was working on, using my reach to keep him away and get some good shots in, and it worked out really good for me.”
If headlining the MFC’s first venture into Winsor, Ontario, Canada, wasn’t big enough, Lima’s first title defense also put additional weight on his shoulders, which he refused to let derail him.
“For me it was a big responsibility, being a champion and defending it,” he commented. “It is supposed to be a lot of pressure, being the main event and all, but it didn’t affect me at all. Actually it motivated me because a lot of people were watching.”
The win reaffirmed to him his place at the top of the MFC welterweight division, and further added to Lima’s confidence as he grows as a fighter.
“I won it and I defended, so now I consider myself a real champion,” he said. “I said it before, the more I fight, the more I feel comfortable.
“I want to fight the way I train. If I fight the way I train, I feel I can beat anybody. The more I fight, the better I’m getting.”
Lima appeared even bigger and stronger than he was last year. When asked if he feels he’s reached his physical peak yet, Lima replied, “Not yet.
“I’m getting bigger, growing, and physically I felt really strong for that fight. I know I’m not going to stay at 170 forever. I’m still growing, so one day I may fight at 185.”
As successful as he is, Lima’s brother Dhiego remained undefeated by winning his fight earlier in the night, making it a clean sweep for the family yet again.
“Fighting on the same events together, on the same card, it’s very exciting and I’m very happy for us and him,” stated Lima. “Having my family there just makes it better, and I’m glad it turned out that way.”
After taking no damage in his fight against Martin, Lima is eager to continue his winning ways and stay active in 2011.
“I really hope I fight in the next month or two months,” he said. “I’m still training every day and I’m going to stay ready for whatever comes up. Whenever, wherever, I’m ready to fight right now.”
Having proven he can come from behind in his earlier MFC fights, Lima now has shown that he can dominate from the outset, cementing his status as one of the best young fighters at welterweight.
“I would like to thank my coaches, my training partners and my sponsors,” concluded Lima. “Keep an eye out because I’m training really hard and I’m ready for whatever comes. I’ll be back stronger than before.”