One of the newest additions to Five Ounces of Pain, writer Eric Bullock sits down to talk with rising star Dhiego Lima who fights in a few weeks at MFC 30. Read head as Lima talks about unbeaten streak, his approach to competition, and much more…
I recently had the pleasure of talking with up and coming fighter, Dhiego Lima. Dhiego is the younger brother of former MFC welterweight champion Douglas Lima and is looking to bring further glory to the Lima name by continuing on a warpath through the Maximum Fighting Championships. Dhiego is undefeated in his five professional outings, has finished every opponent he’s faced, and is looking to stay unbeaten in his quest to the championship.
Read ahead and learn more about one of the sport’s stars of tomorrow…
Eric Bullock: So Dhiego, you are 22 years old, married with two young children and work full time. Where do you find the time to train?
Dhiego Lima: It’s hard to find the time. I do my cardio either early in the morning or late at night. Team training is during the day but if I cannot make it, I will train at night. I train out of four different gyms in the area due to the fact that my training partners live far away from each other. We meet at a different place each day. I train six days a week, usually resting on Friday or Sunday. I do a cardio work out daily, whether it is running, circuit training or biking it has to be done every day.
EB: How long have you been training and where did you get your start?
DL: I have been training for about five years now, fighting professionally for two years.
I started training right after I finished high school. I used to play football so I was already big and strong. My brother Douglas was training under Junior Assuncao, who is my trainer now, and they convinced me to start my training. After I graduated high school I had a choice to either go to college and play football or start fighting. I chose fighting because school and I really don’t get along too well.
EB: What do you like to do in your time off?
DL: In my time off I like to play with my kids, take them to the park or to the pool. I like to have date nights with my wife. I am always doing something with my family.
EB: In a recent interview MFC president Mark Pavelich described you as his alter ego and that you are like him 20 years ago. You don’t want to be someone’s buddy, you just want to kick their teeth in and this is why he signed you. Do you agree with this description?
DL: That is pretty accurate. I leave for Canada a week out from the fight and I go there for business. I don’t have any friends there, my friends are my corner and that’s it. It’s all about business, there are no smiles once I get there and I am a whole different person. I’m there to win a fight; I’m going to be mean. I’m not going to laugh at you; I’m not going to be your little buddy. I’m not going to come shake your hand. That’s just not me. I am respectable but this is the sport of fighting and it is all about business. I don’t have a lot of time on my hands with my family, training and work so I take every fight personally. Every fight I am trying to hurt somebody, I’m trying to win, and I will do what it takes to win. I am not there to make friends. If someone comes and laughs and smiles at me during the weigh-ins they are going to have a bad night.
EB: Your older brother, Douglas, recently left the MFC to sign on for Bellator’s welterweight tournament. Pavelich took this personally. Were you afraid that Douglas’ decision would have an affect on your relationship with the MFC?
DL: At first I was and there were some problems but we all talked about it and worked things out. I think Mark took it personally because he really liked my brother, but business is business. The MFC is a great company, they really take good care of their fighters and I felt like it was where I needed to be.
EB: You are fighting Jamie Toney at MFC 30 on June 10. What do you know about him?
DL: I know that he is a complete fighter. This is going to be a big test for me. I am looking for the early finish but I expect it to be a long fight. He has a lot of experience, he has never been finished, and his losses are all by decision. I knew after my last win I was going to get an experienced guy and I am ready for it.
EB: Do you watch opponent’s previous fights to form a gameplan or do you just continue with your normal training to prepare for an upcoming fight?
DL: I usually try to find a guy’s strong skill and work on countering that but since he is a good all around fighter there is really no gameplan other than making him fight at my pace and fight my fight.
EB: What is it like going from smaller regional shows to fighting on a nationally televised production like the MFC?
DL: It’s awesome, I love people watching me, the more the better. I feel so much more comfortable when people are watching; it pushes me even more and gives me that edge.
My last fight was in the other guy’s hometown and it was a sold out crowd. Pretty much everyone there was booing me but it doesn’t matter to me if they are booing or cheering, it pushes me hard either way.
EB: You recently said that you would be a UFC champion by the age of 26. What makes you think you will reach that goal and do it so quickly?
DL: I’m too dedicated; I don’t think that is too quickly. It is four years from now, plenty of time. I work too hard, I am improving every day and I am young. The people I train with every day help me and they all have been there before. I am motivated and hungry. I dream about it, I will be a world champ when I am 26 and that’s it.
EB: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
DL: I would like to thank my wife for putting up with me; it’s really hard being a fighter’s wife. She puts up with me, takes care of me and is a big part of my career. I would also like to thank all my fans for all of their support.
Again, Lima will be fighting at MFC 30 in Edmonton on June 10. The fight is televised nationally live on HDNet starting at 10:00 PM. The card also features Drew Fickett versus Brian Cobb in the main event and rematch between Marcus Davis and Pete Spratt.
PHOTO CREDIT – MFC