UFC welterweight contender Demian Maia isn't buying into the notion that some of Anderson Silva's highlight-reel worthy finishes can be credited to former action movie star Steven Seagal.
Seagal, a seventh degree black belt in Aikido, is said to have been an instrumental part of training camps for Silva since early 2011.
Speaking to Yahoo! Esportes, the former middleweight title challenger put Seagal on blast, stating that he adamantly believes Seagal hasn't taught "The Spider" anything (translation via MixedMartialArts.com).
"It's a lie," said Maia. "It's marketing. Like every actor from Hollywood, when Seagal saw Anderson's success, he glued himself to him. Seagal's movie career was down. It worked because he appeared in the media again. Seagal never taught Silva anything... For everyone who knows about it, it's a joke."
Maia, a fourth degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, had some fans wondering if they may have an entertaining grappling affair on their hands heading into his title bout with Silva at UFC 112 in April 2010.
The actual bout did not involve anything that could be described as entertaining, as Silva kept the bout standing, excessively taunting his fellow Brazilian countryman for five rounds, never looking to finish the fight.
Despite his past history with the former long-reigning 185-pound kingpin, Maia insists that his callout of Seagal has nothing to do with a personal vendetta against Silva.
As a matter of fact, Maia said he was rooting for Silva against Chris Weidman at UFC 162, since he wanted the middleweight strap to stay in Brazil.
Of course, fate didn't work out that way, as Silva suffered a brutal knockout, the first one of his 38-fight career, early in the second round of the championship fight.
For those who want to play devil's advocate, keep in mind Seagal was not in Silva's corner for the Weidman bout, which took place a little over two weeks ago at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After a 3-2 stretch at middleweight, dropping decisions to Weidman and fellow contender Mark Munoz, Maia has posted a perfect 3-0 mark at welterweight and is currently ranked the fifth best 170-pound according to the UFC's official rankings.
Is Maia simply saying what everyone was thinking in regards to Silva's relationship with Seagal, or does having the American actor participate in his camp actually make a big difference?