‘Maluco’ going hunting at MFC 31
How does a fighter get a nickname?
Sometimes it’s a play on his first or last name, maybe a takeoff on where the fighter is from or his ethnic heritage, other times it’s simply an innocent comment taken to the extreme.
After three fights and a dramatic rise to becoming the organization’s hottest prospect, Dhiego Lima stood without so much as a hint of what colorful nickname might suit him best. It had to be a bang-on hit, a perfect fit.
So with the creative juices flowing in the MFC office, suddenly it came out of nowhere. Bust out the Portuguese-English dictionary, thumb through to “crazy” and there it was.
Dhiego “Maluco” Lima.
“I love the nickname. When I first saw it on the poster, it felt like I’d had it a while already. It definitely fits me,” said Lima, who will look to stay perfect in action when he puts his undefeated streak on the line at MFC 31: The Rundown against “Dangerous” Terry Martin.
Lima (6-0) and Martin (21-9) will square-off in the final bout before the main event on televised card emanating from the Mayfield Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, on Friday, October 7. HDNet Fights will carry the show live at 10 p.m. ET/8 p.m. MT/7 p.m. PT (check local listings for channel designation).
Lima will have more than just his perfect record at stake against Martin. He’s no more than a win or two away from a shot at the MFC welterweight belt, and a resounding outcome against the veteran striker would certainly give him a tremendous push. Plus there’s added incentive.
Dhiego’s older brother, Douglas, cracked a one-punch knockout of Martin at MFC 29, a nice and tidy verdict in just 1:16. The younger sibling has a desire to best his brother’s time, maintaining his family honor, and getting his own chance at the MFC’s 170-pound division title.
“I did say I want to knock out Martin faster than my brother did but I’m not going to go crazy – even though that’s my nickname now – trying to get a KO and maybe get caught by something,” said Lima.
“But I am going to head hunt every second that we’re in there and if I catch him good, it’s all over. If not, that’s no problem. I’m ready to go 10 rounds.”
Lima has every intention of getting ahold of the MFC crown and keeping it for a long time once it’s in his grasp.
“Definitely I feel I’d be ready for a title shot,” said Lima. “I just beat a guy (Jamie Toney) that was coming off an eight-fight winning streak. When I beat Terry I would be on top of the world because he just fought for the title so I’m looking to finish this fight so it’ll earn me a title shot.
“It’s such a great time for me. I feel the pressure but I’m pushing harder and harder every day in the gym so I can keep that up. I love that pressure feeling.”
Lima darted onto the MFC scene with a splashy debut. At MFC 27, he stepped up for his first appearance on television and promptly delivered a one-punch finish of Bill Fraser. Though he was pushed for a while in his second outing, the Atlanta, Georgia, product, secured his first submission finish under the organizational banner at MFC 29 when he stopped Josh Taveirne by rear-naked choke with just 1:25 to go in their tussle.
And then at MFC 30, Lima put together the best performance of his blossoming career as he put skill and ferociousness together for a quick disposal of Toney in only 2:47.
At 22, Lima has designs on becoming the MFC’s youngest-ever champion but that hasn’t stopped him from continually putting new pieces of his game plan into place. It’s a rigorous schedule for Lima – training daily while holding down an overnight job, and raising a family that is soon to be growing with the recent announcement of a third little one on the way for he and his wife Erica.
While as devoted as ever to being a good family man, Lima is passionately driven to succeed as a fighter.
“I’m working on pretty much everything,” he explained. “The stand-up game just came naturally for me. I love to fight. I love to give a good show to the fans. If I feel comfortable I will stand and bang but if not I will use my wrestling to take it to the ground. That’s the main thing I’m focusing on – my wrestling.
“My camp is going great. We have a lot of great guys working with us. We have a new Olympic wrestling coach. I’m already in shape already and everything is going like planned.
“I’m very excited to be fighting a guy like Terry who brings it every fight and is looking for revenge. I’m telling you it’s going to be a dogfight.”Tickets for MFC 31: The Rundown are going fast and available exclusively via the MFC Ticket Hotline at (780) 504-2024.