Marcos Rogerio de Lima Out of the Running for UFC 301

Anaheim, CA — Brazilian heavyweight Marcos Rogerio de Lima had an unexpected change of opponent just a day out from his fight at UFC 298.

In a downright stunning turn of events, Justin Tafa was replaced by brother Junior on weigh-in day, a situation “Pezao” had never before encountered. Still, care of nasty leg kicks, de Lima came away with a TKO win.

“Definitely that never happened to me before, especially on the day of the weigh-ins,” admitted de Lima (22-9-1), speaking with reporters including Cageside Press following the fight. “Especially the news that they wanted to change the opponent, and already had someone to replace him.”

Regardless of opponent, de Lima was determined to move forward. “I have the best training partners, best coaches. We just had to adapt and change a few things here and there, and I’m very happy with the result.”

“The only bad moment I had was in the morning, when I got the news that I had a different opponent,” noted de Lima. But after talking to his coaches and getting their support, “it was a walk in the park. I knew I had their support, and I trained for that, so that’s it.”

In terms of differences between Junior Tafa and Justin Tafa, “I can say I was expecting him [Junior] to be more aggressive than his brother, creating more of a fight,” said de Lima, later adding “he definitely moves more than his brother.”

Thanks to training with southpaws, de Lima also added that “I had some preparation for that crazy change.”

While the UFC will return to Rio de Janiro, Brazil this May for UFC 301, Marcos Rogerio de Lima has ruled out appearing on that card.

“I’m feeling my foot a little bit, of course the kicks are going to cost me a little bit but nothing bad. I want to spend some time with my family in Brazil, and I have some business that I have to take care of there, but I believe in June would probably be what I’m looking for to be ready to fight.” When asked specifically he the card would interest him, de Lima noted that he would be there — but only as a fan.

Watch the full UFC 298 post-fight press conference with Marcos Rogerio de Lima above.