Welcome to the UFC: Felipe Lima

Felipe Lima, UFC Saudi Arabia
Felipe Lima, UFC Saudi Arabia ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Youtube/UFC

Felipe Lima was set to defend his Oktagon bantamweight title on July 20, until a short-notice opportunity at UFC Saudi Arabia became available. Muhammad Naimov was supposed to fight Melsik Baghdasaryan, but Melsik pulled out. In comes Felipe Lima on short notice and up a weight class, in a solid signing by the UFC.

Felipe “D’Ouro” Lima
Standing at five-foot-six
Fighting at 135 lbs (bantamweight)
Fighting out of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Training out of Allstars Training Center
A pro record of 12-1
4 KO/TKOs, 2 Submissions

How Lima will fare in the UFC:

Born in Brazil, Felipe Lima lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and has been training at Allstars Training Center for years. After making his debut in 2015 where he came up short, he hasn’t lost since. Lima would probably have been in the UFC years ago if he stayed active. He’s also had bad luck in keeping fights together. He even had a fight on season one of Road to UFC but his opponent pulled out.

Earlier in his career Lima did a bit more wrestling and grappling. He’s slowly gotten away from it but went back to it in his last fight. He did it impressively too out-grappling and out-wrestling Jonas Magard who is known for his jiu-jitsu. He can get taken down and lose positions but is never complacent so he hasn’t met someone that can completely out-grapple him yet.

Lima is a mixture of wild, unorthodox, and technical all at the same time when it comes to his striking. Lima throws a lot of high velocity such as switch kicks, capoeira kicks, and his favorite; the flying knee. The Brazilian is frequently mixing up his striking patterns. He never throws the same strike back-to-back. He always at least throws in two or three. He’ll mix in leg kicks and hooks to the body with his combinations.

I can’t point out all the combinations he does but I love his one-two digging to the body and then going up top. Lima covers a lot of distance quickly with his explosiveness and can bounce right back out of the way. And while his movement slows as the fight goes on, his striking gets better. Being more settled in Lima is lasered in with his shot placement.

I’m so high on Lima already and he’s just 26. He has a well-rounded skillset with a deep gas tank. He doesn’t have any glaring holes and he’s fought decent-enough competition. I view Lima as a top 15 bantamweight in the future but the ceiling is much higher than that even.

How he matches up with Naimov:

Naimov has had an odd career. He went from losing to lesser guys outside the UFC but then beating Jamie Mullarkey and Nathaniel Wood in the UFC. After going back and watching those fights I still think it’s more so disappointment in those two guys instead of being impressed by Naimov. From a skillset alone Lima is levels above Naimov. The only worrying thing is that Naimov is a strong featherweight and Lima is a 135’er. I’m still picking Lima and I’d be very surprised if Naimov got another high-caliber win.