UFC 156: What We Learned from Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia

Scott HarrisMMA Lead WriterFebruary 2, 2013

Jul. 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Demian Maia (left) celebrates his win over Dong Hyun Kim during a welterweigh bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In a match pitting two of the UFC's best grapplers against each other, Brazilian jiu-jitsu superstar Demian Maia defeated grinder Jon Fitch by unanimous decision.

Throughout the fight, Maia (18-4) scored takedowns, climbed atop the back of Fitch (24-5-1-1) and clung there like a giant squid. With a body triangle firmly in place for much of the action, Maia constantly fished for all manners of submission—most frequently a rear-naked choke.

It was a testament to Fitch that he kept from tapping, but sometimes a great defense is not enough. Sometimes you need a great offense, and Fitch didn't have enough on Saturday against one of the best on the planet.


What we'll remember about this fight 

Uh, that it was awesome? Two superior grapplers doing their thing with the throttle wide open. A spectacular victory for Demian Maia—he can't be that far from a title shot.


What we learned about Jon Fitch

I can't think of a fighter with better submission defense. There were many times when Maia slid an arm in here, placed a hand there and—time and time again—Fitch pried it off.

Deprived of his top control, though, Fitch was powerless to turn the tide. In other words, say it with me now: Fitch got Fitched.


What we learned about Demian Maia

That he is really, truly legitimate at 170 pounds.


What's next for Fitch

Martin Kampmann.


What's next for Maia

I'd love to see him fight Carlos Condit.