MMA veteran Demian Maia had a lot of hype coming into the UFC, and the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specialist initially backed it up, winning his first five fights with the promotion.
However, Maia ran into Nate Marquardt in his sixth fight in the UFC, and he ended up suffering a devastating first round knockout. Maia’s first loss made him a lot more tentative, and it ended up affecting his performances inside the Octagon. He went 4-3 in his next seven outings, before finally deciding to drop down to the welterweight division, after his uninspiring performance against Chris Weidman at “UFC on Fox 2.”
Frustrated with the way his career was going, Demian Maia decided to drop down to the welterweight division, in an attempt to redefine himself. Demian’s MMA career was on the line when he decided to drop down to 170-pounds, as a second consecutive loss would have probably cost him his job in the UFC.
It turns out Maia made the right move, as he’s been simply amazing in the welterweight division, racking up first round stoppages against Dong Hyun Kim (Kim got injured early in the fight) and Rick Story.
Given how impressive Maia has been in his last two outings, it’s a little surprising that he wasted so much time fighting as a middleweight. His body seems to be optimized at 170-pounds, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up working his way to a title shot in the division.
Maia’s BJJ technique has always been world-class, and his striking is a lot better that many MMA fans seem to think. At 170-pounds, Demian Maia can now add impressive physical strength to his arsenal, which will only make him even more dangerous on the ground.
Earlier in the year, it looked like Maia’s UFC career was coming to the end, but the Brazilian found a way to reinvent himself. He’s made it clear that he’s here to stay in the welterweight division, and I for one wouldn’t mind watching him square up against a top contender in his next outing.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.