by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Being undefeated as a professional mixed martial arts fighter can be a double edged sword because as much of an honor as it is to claim to have never been beaten, it seems to make opponents go all out to get a win over an unblemished fighter.
As of yet, no opponent has pushed Demian Maia to those limits. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion is now 10-0 as a professional mixed martial artist, and 5-0 as a fighter in the UFC.
In his most recent win, a triangle choke submission over Chael Sonnen at UFC 95, Maia executed a beautiful throw that landed him in perfect position to then lock on the fight ending hold.
“I knew when I fell, as soon as I hit the floor I realized I was getting the triangle,” he said after the fight was over.
Maia has a deep understanding of what it takes to be a winner in MMA, and he’s been able to transition his ground game into a winning formula in the cage as well, possibly better than any other fighter before him.
“Jiu-jitsu is all about that, like with a chess match for position with your opponent,” Maia explained. “For example, I think because I was training a lot and fighting a lot in jiu-jitsu, when I go to the ground, I think like two movements before my opponent. I think that gives me an advantage. When I fought from the top and I saw the triangle, probably he didn’t realize the triangle. But when he realized it would still be too late. You get used to it with years of training, like I have, on the ground of course.”
Defeating a number of top-flight middleweights while in the UFC, Maia has said in the past that he’s willing to wait for his time to get at the 185-pound title, but he believes the waiting is over.
“Last fight I told I was just waiting, take it step by step, but now if I have the chance I want to fight for the title,” commented Maia at the UFC 95 post-fight press conference. “I feel prepared right now psychologically, physically and technically.”
The Brazilian believes that he can go toe to toe with anybody in the world, and if the fight hits the mat every opponent should take great warning at what’s coming next.
“Everyone who goes to the ground with me is going to have hard times,” Maia stated emphatically.
Demian Maia will now head back into training as he waits for his next challenge in the UFC’s middleweight division.