Heavyweight Marcos Rogerio de Lima will have to face a training partner in his next outing, but is trying to keep his perspective purely professional. Paired up against fellow American Top Team athlete and veteran Andrei Arlovski at UFC Vegas 63, ‘Pezao’ believes that facing a teammate was all but inevitable given the size of ATT’s roster.
In an interview with Combate, Lima explained what it was like to share the gym with the former heavyweight champion. Although they’ve both there at the same times in the same rooms, the Brazilian says they have been able to maintain a safe distance from each other without having to hinder their camps.
“Every Monday he does wrestling practice. The only things I didn’t do with him were the specifics,” Lima explained. “I did those with Ailton Barbosa and Conan Silveira. I didn’t train with him. I did receive help from King Mo Lawal, but on those Monday sessions, he (Andrei) was on one side of the mat and I was on the other.
“A friend of mine and another partner told me they didn’t want this fight to happen, but unfortunately it will. They were pretty upset about it. We’re in the biggest MMA promotion in the world and the biggest team, though. Things like this happen. Heavyweights alone, we’ve got Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Augusto Sakai, Rodrigo Nascimento. Sooner or later, we’ll have to fight each other. If everyone’s walking towards the same goal, we will end up running into each other at some point.”
When it comes to the fight itself, Pezao believes his aggressive style will benefit him against the more careful version of Arlovski that exists today. Although he can’t be sure if he will be able to finish ‘Pitbull’, Lima guarantees he will be looking for the knockout the whole time.
“I’ll be looking for the knockout from the first fraction of a second until the last,” Lima revealed. “Let’s see what happens. I’ll be aggressive the whole time. I can’t predict anything. All I know is it’s going to be a brawl all the time. As long as I’m breathing, I’ll be hitting hard, looking to fight. I’m a really aggressive guy. I like a brawl. It’s going to be cool.
“He likes to walk backwards and I like to impose myself, so I think this will benefit me. I’ll be able to land kicks, punches and takedowns. I think that’s the part which favors me the most. I just need to be careful with the distance, because he’s attacks very well.”
In his last outing, Lima (19-8-1) dropped a unanimous decision to Blagoy Ivanov, back in May 2022. The defeat snapped a two-fight winning streak for the 37-year-old, who had scored wins over Ben Rothwell and Maurice Greene, respectively in November and May 2021.
Lima is expected to take on Arlovski at UFC Vegas 63, on October 29, at the UFC Apex. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a featherweight bout between contenders Calvin Kattar and Arnold Allen.