On November 15, 2008 at UFC 91, Demian Maia will enter the octagon for the fourth time since joining the UFC in 2007.
His opponent this time around will be veteran Nate Quarry, who is best known for being on the receiving end of one of the worst knockouts in UFC history courtesy of a straight left from Rich Franklin at UFC 56 that left him briefly unconscious.
To date Maia has three wins and three straight “submission of the night” honors. If you’re scoring at home that is $175,000 in bonus money alone.
Maia has taken full advantage of the UFC incentive program which basically says if you are an exciting fighter who puts on a great show for the fans you will be handsomely rewarded.
Despite the three straight impressive victories in the UFC that have run his career record to 8–0, Maia remains a relative unknown to most MMA fans.
To dissect Maia you have to start with his ground game. He is a world class Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, a second degree black belt, and one of the best in the world.
His resume is gaudy to say the least. He was a seven time state champion in his native Brazil, a Brazilian champion, a three time world cup champion, two time world champion, and the 2006 Pan American Champion.
However, it was his 2007 Super Challenge under 83 kg Champion and 2007 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Champion titles that were most impressive. He defeated some household names in these tournaments including Yushin Okami, Ronaldo Souza, and Gabriel Gonzaga. The UFC took notice and signed him to a contract shortly thereafter.
As a striker Maia is still raw and still evolving. He is still honing his skills in Sao Paulo, Brazil, his hometown, with Team Brasa where he has been stationed since his MMA infancy.
Is Maia the guy that can knock off current champion Anderson Silva? I tend to believe this to be true.
He has the pedigree, which is the strength to take Silva down, the skill to control him on the ground, and the superior jiu-jitsu submission game be able to end the fight.
Silva has been taken down and put on his back numerous times in his career against Dan Henderson, Travis Lutter, Nate Marquardt, Ryo Chonan, and Daiju Takase.
However, only Takase was able to get a victory on the ground (Chonan did get a submission victory, but this was a fluke submission while they were standing).
Takase was just 4–7–1 in his career entering his fight against Silva at PRIDE 26. He quickly took Silva to the ground, controlled him on the ground, and tried one submission attempt after the next until he locked in a triangle choke and forced Silva to tap.
It did not seem to matter that Takase was a sub par MMA fighter. He simply had the pedigree and executed the correct game plan.
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