Posts Tagged ‘Maia’
Maia hoped for UFC 'change of mind' with Woodley, will stay ready to fill in for title shot
At this past weekend's UFC 198, Demian Maia used his illustrious grappling chops to take striker Matt Brown to the ground repeatedly, drowning him in a relentless sea of arms and legs to earn yet another dominant win. Given Maia's previous performances

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At this past weekend’s UFC 198, Demian Maia used his illustrious grappling chops to take striker Matt Brown to the ground repeatedly, drowning him in a relentless sea of arms and legs to earn yet another dominant win.

Given Maia’s previous performances, this part wasn’t necessarily a surprise. The Maia that people are still getting used to, however, showed up later. He put on a suit. He confidently took the stand at the post-fight press conference. And he fought once again for a title shot.

“I think in this division, I have the longest sequence of victories, more than Woodley,” Maia said at the occasion. “So, mathematically, I think I’m the one that deserves to fight for the title.”

It was a long shot, and Maia (23-6 MMA, 17-6 UFC) knew it. Tyron Woodley (15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) had been all but confirmed as the next to challenge champ Robbie Lawler (27-10 MMA, 12-4 UFC) – with the official announcement of UFC 201’s headliner coming out a few days later.

As aware as he was, Maia still couldn’t help but being a bit disappointed.

“We knew unofficially before my fight, so it wasn’t a surprise,” Maia told MMAjunkie. “But there’s always that hope that they might change their minds.

“The way I see it now, I have three options: I can wait for a title shot with whoever wins. I can fight once more before the title, which is what I don’t want. And lastly, I can just hop in if anyone is unable to fight.”

Demian Maia

Demian Maia

The last option, as Michael Bisping recently proved after taking injured Chris Weidman’s spot at UFC 199, is not an impossible scenario. Sometimes timing can work in your favor just as much as anything else – and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist is fully aware of that.

“I have that in mind, absolutely,” Maia said. “After my camps, I always stay in some form of maintenance mode. I’m going back to my regular training very soon. Of course, not with the same intensity of when the fight is near, but certainly waiting to see what happens.”

Even then, considering the top of what’s arguably one of the UFC’s most stacked divisions, Maia could be overlooked. The most direct threat would be Stephen Thompson (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) – who tops both Maia and Lawler when it comes to undefeated streaks, holding the division’s current top mark of six.

Thompson, in turn, has a more immediate concern: Rory MacDonald, who he faces at UFC Fight Night 89, on June 18. It’s a complicated scenario that Maia, himself, finds tough to navigate.

“At this point, it’s so abstract I don’t really want to speculate too much,” Maia said. “I know if Thompson wins, he’s a possibility. I wouldn’t know about Rory, because he had his shot recently. Things change so much, so many switch-ups and injuries.

“I’d say I’m first in line. Thompson may have a bigger winning streak, but he lost to Brown, for instance. If you take my last eight fights, I fought numerous ranked guys. I’ve fought a lot of people and won.”

Maia has been fending for himself, but other fighters may have indirectly helped him out. In his octagon return after having been on the losing end of another one of Maia’s relentless ground work displays, Gunnar Nelson put on a stellar performance against Albert Tumenov at UFC Fight Night 87.

In case you were wondering whether the praise received by Nelson after his dominant win put a smile on Maia’s face – it did.

“I think when you win dominantly, people tend to think the other guy either isn’t that good or just didn’t do well,” Maia analyzed. “But it’s just my style of fighting. When I’m actually able to impose my game, I look dominant. Then people think it’s easy and wonder why I couldn’t simply submit.

“It’s not easy. It takes a lot of effort. A lot of detail goes into getting a position, getting the angles right for a submission. People would ask me why Nelson accepted to go to the ground with me. He didn’t. Neither did Brown. I made them do it, that’s what I work for.”

Demian Maia

Demian Maia

But work, Maia has learned, is not necessarily all it takes. Amongst an increasingly marketing-aware – and oftentimes loud – competition, the soft-spoken Sao Paulo native has sometimes struggled to make his own voice heard. It took him a while, but he thinks he might be finally getting there.

“I’m doing my part without disrespecting anyone,” he said. “If I voice what I want, people, my friends, fans, they’ll start repeating it. So it’s important that they know what that is. It’s harder to get there without speaking up. And I think I have been doing it in my own way.”

In the octagon, Maia has made his case as one of the division’s finest. And yet, the shot at the 170-pound gold remains uncertain. Though he thinks the fact he’s had one chance to fight for a title already – six years ago, at UFC 112, as a middleweight – is no longer something that gets in the way of opportunities, Maia believes there’s more to it than just winning fights.

“I think if I had fought the same way I did, getting the same decisions, but knocking out the opponents I’ve finished instead, I would have had a title shot already,” Maia said. “I think that striking is more appreciated, and efficiency is a bit overlooked.

“But still, I’m not about to change my identity in order to make it.”

At 38, Maia’s adamant attitude towards the title shot might be perceived by some as a last call of sorts, a chance of ending his nearly decade-long UFC career on a high note. But he doesn’t see it that way. In fact, he believes that it is now that everything is finally coming together.

“Now is the best time for me,” Maia said. “I have time, I have experience, I have an amazing team. It’s like an orchestra. My head coach Eduardo Alonso is a maestro, and my trainers put their own egos aside to follow a strategy.

“I have all these years of fighting, of competing and evolving, and a team that’s able to get the best out of me.”

And, in case anyone still isn’t listening, he doesn’t mind speaking up.

“My intentions are clear: fighting for the title and hopefully becoming welterweight champion.”

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At UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil, Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Demian Maia (23-6) spent nearly 15 minutes on Matt Brown’s (20-14) back before finishing him with a rear-naked choke. Maia is now on a five-fight win streak and tied at third for most submissions in UFC history with eight. 

All three rounds were nearly identical, with Maia getting a takedown early in the round, taking Brown’s back and locking up the body triangle. From there, he looked for a submission and finally found it in the last minute of the third round. Maia sunk one arm in and, despite Brown successfully controlling Maia’s other arm, “The Immortal” still tapped. 

Despite Brown’s considerable power, Maia shut down all of Brown’s attempts to do virtually anything. The only semblance of a reversal came when Maia attempted to set up an armbar, allowing Brown to turn and end up in closed guard—which didn’t accomplish much.

Brown had been out for almost a year, last submitting Tim Means in July 2015. With this loss, he is now 2-3 in his last five, having dropped decisions to current welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and former champion Johny Hendricks. Prior to those losses, Brown’s seven-fight win streak—six of which came via KO/TKO—generated enough hype to earn him the title-eliminator bout with Lawler. Brown will now likely be relegated to division gatekeeper for several fights. 

He seemed to take the loss in stride, saying in his post-fight interview, “I 100-percent respect Demian and his style, that’s why I wanted to fight him. A loss means I found a new way to do things wrong. I will be back to training next week.”

Maia last fought fellow grappler Gunnar Nelson in a highly anticipated match at UFC 194, easily controlling Nelson the entire fight to take the unanimous decision. He also has wins over Neil Magny, Chael Sonnen and Rick Story—all submissions. His BJJ is among the best in the UFC, and he employed it to great effect at UFC 198, emerging from the fight with very little wear.

With such dominance and at No. 6 in the welterweight rankings, Maia should be next in line for a title eliminator, if not the next title shot after Lawler vs. Tyron Woodley at UFC 201. In his post-fight interview, Maia said, “He was trained to protect his neck, he did a good job. I will improve that. Now, I hope my next fight is for the belt.”


All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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UFC 198 post-fight facts: Demian Maia nears top of UFC's all-time wins and submissions list
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MAIA vs. BROWNSaturday’s highly-anticipated UFC 198 bout between welterweight contenders Demian Maia and Matt Brown turned into a one-sided jiu-jitsu clinic, with Sao Paulo’s Maia submitting Brown in the third round at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.“I’m ready to fight for the title,” Maia, who has won five straight, said.

Maia only needed 40 seconds to get the fight to the mat, but Brown was able to get back to his feet fairly quickly. The only problem was that Maia remained locked on to his back, and midway through the round, the Brazil … Read the Full Article Here

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CURITIBA, Brazil – The UFC heavyweight title has changed hands more than any other belt in the organization’s history. It happened again on Saturday at UFC 198 when Stipe Miocic dethroned Fabricio Werdum and scored a vicious knockout to start the 19th title reign (with the 15th different champion) in divisional history.

Miocic (15-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) obliterated Werdum (20-6-1 MMA, 8-3 UFC) with one massive punch early in the first round of the pay-per-view headliner, silencing the largest crowd to watch a UFC event in Brazil. It was a somewhat shocking way to conclude the 12-fight card, which marked the UFC’s first event in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil.

The crowning of a new UFC heavyweight champion wasn’t the only notable happening at Arena da Baixada, which hosted the promotion’s fourth pay-per-view event of the year. Check out 45 post-fight facts about UFC 198.

* * * *


Arena da Baixada

Arena da Baixada

The UFC Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $240,000.

Debuting fighters went 1-0-1 at the event.

Miocic, Ronaldo Souza, Francisco Trinaldo and Yancy Medeiros earned $50,000 UFC 198 fight-night bonuses.

UFC 198 drew an announced attendance of 45,207, the third largest in company history behind UFC 193 and UFC 129. No live gate was announced.

Betting favorites went 6-5 on the card. One fight ended in a draw.

Total fight time for the 12-bout card was 2:01:48.

In the UFC’s 25 Brazilian events to date, fighters from the country are 140-76 against foreign opposition. Brazilians went 8-2 against outsiders at UFC 198.

Main card

Stipe Miocic

Stipe Miocic

Miocic’s three-fight UFC winning streak in heavyweight competition is tied for the second longest active streak in the division behind Alistair Overeem (four).

Miocic has earned 11 of his 15 career victories by knockout.

Miocic has earned all of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Werdum had his career-high six-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since June 2011.

Werdum suffered just the second knockout loss of his career and his first since Oct. 25, 2008 – a span of 2,758 days (more than seven years) and 11 fights.

Ronaldo Souza

Ronaldo Souza

Souza (23-4 MMA, 6-1 UFC) has earned 19 of his 23 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 16 of those stoppages in the first round.

Souza earned just the third knockout victory of his career. Two of those wins have come under the UFC banner.

Souza’s nine stoppage victories in UFC/Strikeforce middleweight competition are tied for third most in combined divisional history.

Vitor Belfort (25-12 MMA, 14-8 UFC) fell to 8-3 since he dropped to the middleweight division in September 2007.

Belfort has suffered losses only to fighters who have won a tournament championship or held an undisputed title in the UFC, PRIDE or Strikeforce.

Cristiane Justino

Cristiane Justino

Cristiane Justino (16-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) extended her unbeaten streak to 17 fights. She hasn’t suffered a defeat since her MMA debut in May 2005.

Justino has earned 14 of her 16 career victories by knockout. She’s stopped her past 11 opponents with strikes.

Leslie Smith (8-7-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over her five-fight UFC career.

Mauricio Rua (24-10 MMA, 8-8 UFC) earned back-to-back victories for the first time since 2009.

Mauricio Rua

Mauricio Rua

Rua earned consecutive decision victories for the first time in his career.

Rua’s 20 victories in UFC/PRIDE light-heavyweight competition are the most in combined divisional history.

Rua’s 11 knockdowns landed in UFC light-heavyweight competition are tied with Lyoto Machida for second most in divisional history behind Chuck Liddell (14).

Corey Anderson (8-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Warlley Alves (10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) had his 10-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his pro career.

Preliminary card

Demian Maia and Matt Brown

Demian Maia and Matt Brown

Demian Maia (23-6 MMA, 17-6 UFC) improved to 8-2 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in July 2012.

Maia’s five-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is tied with Robbie Lawler for the second longest active streak in the division behind Stephen Thompson (six).

Maia’s 17 victories in UFC competition are fourth most in history behind St-Pierre (19), Matt Hughes (18) and Michael Bisping (18).

Maia’s eight submission victories in UFC competition are tied for third most in history behind Royce Gracie (10) and Nate Diaz (nine).

Maia improved to 17-2 in UFC bouts in which he lands at least one takedown. He’s completed at least one takedown against 19 of his 23 UFC opponents.

Matt Brown (20-14 MMA, 13-9 UFC) suffered his third loss in his past four fights after going on a seven-fight UFC winning streak.

Brown has suffered 10 of his 14 career losses by submission.

Thiago Santos

Thiago Santos

Thiago “Marreta” Santos’ (13-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) four-fight UFC winning streak in middleweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Yoel Romero (seven) and Luke Rockhold (five).

Santos has earned four of his five UFC victories by first-round knockout.

Nate Marquardt (34-16-2 MMA, 12-9 UFC) fell to 2-3 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in June 2014.

Marquardt fell to 2-6 in his past eight pro bouts.

Trinaldo’s (20-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) six-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is tied with Khabib Nurmagomedov for the second longest active streak in the division behind Tony Ferguson (seven).

Trinaldo has earned six of his past seven victories by decision.

Medeiros (12-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC) suffered the first decision loss of his career.

John Lineker

John Lineker

John Lineker (27-7 MMA, 8-2 UFC) improved to 2-0 since he moved up to the UFC bantamweight division in September.

Lineker improved to 8-1 in his past nine UFC appearances. He’s been victorious in 21 of his past 23 fights overall.

Rob Font (12-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had his 11-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since April 2012.

Font has suffered both of his career losses by decision.

Patrick Cummins (8-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) has suffered all four of his career losses by knockout.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (22-7 MMA, 5-4 UFC) has earned all of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Zubaira Tukhugov (18-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) had his nine-fight unbeaten streak snapped for his first defeat since May 2012.

Tukhugov suffered his first decision loss since Dec. 17, 2010 – a span of 1,975 days (more than five years) and 13 fights.

For complete coverage of UFC 198, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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Demian Maia will sleep well.

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Five straight victories, highlighted by a submission of Matt Brown, have Demian Maia feeling good.

Maia earned his latest victory Saturday night at UFC 198, forcing fellow contender Brown to tap to a rear-naked choke.

Since back-to-back decision losses to Rory MacDonald and Jake Shields, Maia (23-6) has turned back Brown, Gunnar Nelson, Neil Magny, Ryan LaFlare and Alexander Yakovlev.

“I am ready to fight for the title,” he said. “Send Dana White, Joe Silva your messages. I’m ready for this.

“It has been my dream. This is my weight class.”

Back in 2010, Maia earned a shot at then-champion Anderson Silva, falling via decision. He went 3-2 over his next five before deciding to move to welterweight.

With the submission win, Maia now sits tied for third on the UFC all-time list with eight. He is behind only Royce Gracie and Nate Diaz.

The post Demian Maia Believes He Is Ready For Another UFC Title Shot appeared first on

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CURITIBA, Brazil – Demian Maia’s first shot at a UFC title did not go smoothly. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert lost a wide decision to then-middleweight champ Anderson Silva at UFC 112.

The fight with Silva was criticized heavily by fans, though through no fault of Maia. Silva danced and taunted more than he fought, but still took the fight by scores of 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46.

Six years later, Maia is one of the hottest fighters in the welterweight division. He scored a third-round submission of Matt Brown at UFC 198 to run his winning streak to five fights. He’s currently ranked No. 8 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, though that ranking will likely improve after his victory.

The bout between Maia and Brown closed out the preliminary card of the UFC 198 event at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil. It aired on FOX Sports 1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

Older, wiser and lighter, Maia believes it’s time for him to once again fight with a UFC title on the line. He also said he should jump the line and move ahead of No. 3 ranked Tyron Woodley(15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

“I think in this division, I have the longest sequence of victories, more than Woodley,” Maia said at the UFC 198 post-fight press conference. “So, mathematically, I think I’m the one that deserves to fight for the title. But it doesn’t depend on me. It depends on the fans to ask. I think I need that help from the media and everyone. I think it’s the time. I’m not 20 years old anymore to wait around. I did my best. I went down a division 10 fights ago, I’ve got eight victories. I lost two fights against very tough opponents, one by split decision. I’ve proved what I had to prove in this division. I want this chance. I want the chance to fight for the title.”

It may well be wishful thinking for Maia, however, because a bout between Woodley and champ Robbie Lawler is targetted for UFC 201, according to UFC President Dana White.

Should he continue to win, though, opportunity could come knocking for the 38-year-old. And this time, maybe fans will be left with a better memory of him as a title challenger.

For complete coverage of UFC 198, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Just because someone has a reputation for being the quiet sort, that doesn’t mean he can’t make some noise sometimes. And when that happens, it usually speaks louder than anything else in the room.At least that was the case in December, when welterweight contender Demian Maia followed up an impressive win over Gunnar Nelson with an even more impressive post-fight interview in which he made his thoughts known about the current 170-pound rankings and his worthiness for a title fight. Shots were fired, and Maia had made two bold statements in one night – one during the fight, an … Read the Full Article Here

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