Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Sometimes it’s not that you win, it’s how you win. Demian Maia the welterweight is the perfect embodiment of that idea.
After a largely successful career as a highly-ranked middleweight, Maia dropped down a class when he noticed he was beginning to lose to guys with a little more power. He also abandoned his Sugar Ray Demian approach, which saw him rely to a baffling degree on his boxing while his all-world jiu-jitsu talents remained on the shelf collecting dust.
Since Maia's drop, though, he’s hardly thrown a punch on his feet and has utilised clinches, trips and a relentless grappling game to utterly demolish his foes. He broke Dong Hyun Kim’s ribs with a trip takedown, squeezed Rick Story’s jaw with such force that his brains tried to escape through his nose and out-Fitched Jon Fitch so badly that the UFC cut the wrestling ace from the roster completely.
He's 3-0 as a welterweight and was never once in a position where he was anything less than unstoppable. 170 has a new threat to the throne.