After struggling to find his style in recent fights, Demian Maia was finally able to get back on track at UFC 148 with a victory over Dong Hyun Kim on Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Maia needed just 47 seconds to defeat Kim. After being taken down, Kim suffered an injury and the referee was forced to step in as Maia rained down punches on his defenseless opponent.
Maia has been looking to recapture the magic that he once had in the sport of mixed martial arts Through 2009, he looked like one of the most dominant middleweight fighters in the world. He was 11-1, with the only loss being a knockout to Nate Marquardt at UFC 102.
Of those 11 victories, seven of them came via submission. Maia clearly established himself as one of the best submission artists in the history of the sport. His stock was soaring, so much so that after a victory over Dan Miller at UFC 109 Maia earned a title shot against Anderson Silva.
The title bout took place at UFC 112, in one of the most infamous title bouts in recent memory. Silva was clearly superior to Maia, but he danced around for five rounds before earning a unanimous decision victory.
That was the end of Maia as a serious contender in the middleweight division, and he has been trying to find himself ever since. Moving to the welterweight division is likely going to be a big help, as he was always small for the 185-pound division.
With this victory, Maia possesses a 4-2 record in his last six fights. He is off to a solid start in the 170-pound division, but things are so muddled at the top that he has a long way to go before getting in the conversation for big matches and main events.
Still, it is hard not to feel good for Maia. When he is on top of his game, Maia can be very fun and entertaining to watch.
This victory could be the start of Maia's rebirth in the sport, though at 34 years old, he will have to work fast to make things happen.