UFC Ultimate Fighter 19 finalist Dhiego Lima is preparing to defend the Titan Fighting Championships Welterweight Title this weekend against Jason Jackson at Titan FC 42. Lima believes a successful defense of his championship will get him another shot in the UFC.
“It was mostly mental. I wasn’t having fun,” Lima told MMA Junkie. “I was too exhausted when it came time for my UFC fights. By fight week, I was so tired – I kept wishing I was home. I wasn’t enjoying myself. I had to change that. I also changed my training. I’m not wearing myself out anymore. I didn’t want to lose. In the end, I was hurting myself when training. I wasn’t taking care of my body. Everything was training, training, training – no rest. In addition to changing that, I’ve also improved my wrestling. I’ve been working a lot on that. Now I can say I’m a complete fighter. Hopefully I’ll get a call back from the UFC after I defend my belt. My career is on the right path. Now is the time to have fun.”
Lima claims that he has taken the hard path to get back to the UFC, where a lot of fighters try the easy way to get back in.
“Sometimes when people leave the UFC, they look for easy wins,” Lima said. “That’s not how I am. I only want to face high-level guys so I can show my work, and that I deserve to be on top. We’re going to defend the belt again, and then we’ll see what happens after. I probably need a finish to get back to the UFC. I’m trying. I’m fighting my hardest. The competition is good. There are no slouches. There’s been a lot of hype about him and me – mostly on him, actually. People keep saying he’s from the Blackzilians and he’s the the next to get a shot in the UFC. I know he was on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ as well. He didn’t get signed afterward, so he’s looking to get back in there. We’re looking for the same thing. Hopefully the winner of this takes that next step.”
Titan Fighting Championships 42 takes place on Friday, December 2 from the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Florida with Dhiego Lima and Jason Jackson headlining.