Dhiego Lima competed on the preliminary card of UFC 231, defeating Chad Laprise by first round knockout.
The fighter had won just one of seven in the UFC leading into the encounter, but the victory at UFC 231 apparently saved his job, according to Lima himself.
“I was able to save my contract, now we must push forward. Let’s go. I like it when the pressure is all on me. I perform better that way,” Lima said to Combate. “I had a good performance, right? I started out a little slow, my legs were kind of wobbly and I was thinking I had to find myself. Then my jabs started to connect, I found myself, saw an opening and went for it.”
Lima’s only other victory in the UFC prior to UFC 231 came over Jorge Antonio Cezario De Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 56 in November of 2014.
A victorious Lima admits that the first round knockout wasn’t part of the strategy heading into UFC 231.
“My plan was to start out on the feet and the take him down, because I know I’m bigger than him. He never faced a guy who likes to grapple in this weight class. I wanted to put my weight on him and I was going to try and knock him out in the end. I didn’t even did what we trained. I was going to take him down, but that punch got in. He fell with his hands down. When they fall defending themselves, that’s okay, but his hands were down and his rolled back. I thought ‘I don’t need to’,” says Lima.
While Lima also picked up his first UFC win in over four years, it was also the fighters first victory by finish in over five years.