The Breakdown: Anderson Silva vs. Damian Maia

Shawn SmithCorrespondent IApril 8, 2010

Anderson Silva vs. Damian Maia

The evolution of the sport continues with every passing day. In today’s mixed martial arts game, you have to have skills in all areas. Your striking needs to be crisp, takedowns fast, and submissions slick.

Number one contender Damian Maia is the exception to this rule.

He has amassed a 12-1 mixed martial arts record using the skills he developed becoming a Jiu-Jitsu World Champion and now has been granted a UFC World Championship opportunity.

Unfortunately for Maia the man standing in his way of championship gold is no slouch. Anderson Silva has amassed a 10-0 record so far in the UFC and has had little trouble in doing so.

With the evolution of the sport, this is as close to an old-school fight as we are going to get. Silva is known for his devastating striking and has been able to use this to control and destroy every opponent put in his way.

Maia has been the exact opposite. He has used his overpowering submission skills to submit his way to a world title shot.

Because of this, there is a clear distinction as to where the advantages are. Silva has the obvious advantage on the feet and Maia the advantage on the ground.

Despite Silva’s black belt in Jiu-Jitsu under the Nogueira brothers, Maia still has the better submission skills. The way this fight will go if it stays on the feet is obvious. If Marquardt could knockout Maia in 21 seconds it is scary to think what Silva might be able to do.

This fight gets interesting when and if it gets to the mat. Maia has had little trouble slicing through peoples guards like a knife through butter and it will be interesting to see if he will be able to pass the web of a guard Silva has. Few have been able to pass his guard and we have seen Jiu-Jitsu ace’s like Travis Lutter submitted due to Silva’s lanky legs.

Maia’s wrestling is underrated and if Silva has a single weakness it’s his takedown defense. The key to this fight is whether or not Maia can get it to the ground. If he can he might be able to pull off the miracle. If not, he will get destroyed on the feet. This fight is as simple as that.