Dhiego Lima needed a win.
On a two-fight losing skid ahead of UFC 231, the Brazilian was afraid a third loss would ensure yet another release from his contract, but managed to save his skin after a highlight reel one-punch knockout of Chad Laprise.
On an interview for Combate, Lima mentioned to be relieve with the win and claimed to perform better while under pressure.
“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. “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.
“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’.”
Before the win, Dhiego Lima suffered losses to Yushin Okami and Jesse Taylor in his last couple of outings. In his previous UFC run, the 29-year-old ended up released after a 1-4 run, with losses to the likes of Eddie Gordon, Tim Means and Li Jingliang, while beating only Jorge de Oliveira.