Demian Maia defeated Kendall Grove via unanimous decision at TUF 12 last Saturday, making it to his second win in a row since losing his shot at Anderson Silva’s middleweight belt last April. As he again fights his way up the list of contenders in hopes of another title fight, Demian may now have English idol Michal Bisping ahead of him. Furthermore, in a conversation with GRACIEMAG.com, the Jiu-Jitsu black belt analyzes his evolution in the other facets of the fight game and even a possible rematch with Nate Marquardt.
Was it hard facing a fighter nearly two meters tall?
I trained with tall people, so that was good. It all worked out and I felt I evolved in my takedowns, in planting my feet, although I didn’t get the finish. Grove is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt and defended well. I fell I did what I trained to do and improved in what I needed to. I had some good ground and pound, which I wanted to get better at, and I feel I had a good fight against one of the best in the weight group.
As in your fight with Mario Miranda you were close to getting the finish but were unable to, do you feel you lack some fine tuning?
I have to always improve on adjusting holds, but in my last two fights I faced opponents who defend well on the ground and don’t make many mistakes. I trained a lot of grappling for both fights and if they’d done something wrong, I’d have gotten them. It wasn’t for a lack of training. I train and I’m evolving. I fell I did better in the standup department, I landed more punches than him and some of them hurt him. It’s a sign I’m improving.
Striking in the sport just keeps getting better and that was the decisive element in your fight with Nate Marquardt. Would you like to face him again?
A lot of folks ask me that. I don’t have any desire to right now. He’s coming off a loss and generally you match someone who is coming off a win with someone else coming off a win. But down the road for sure. I believe I’ll win the title one day and I’ll put it up for grabs against him, who’s an excellent fighter.
They want to put me against Bisping” Demian
Do you know who you may face next?
They say they want to put me against Michael Bisping. But I’m not concerned with any of that. I’m a fighter and I have to train as best I can, to win.
What do you think of Bisping?
He’s a very strategic guy, keeps his distance, and has good boxing. He’s also a pain to take down. A lot of people say they don’t think he’s all that, but he has very few losses and is hard to beat. He’s an experienced fighter. Should he really be my next, then I’ll even ask for some pointers from Wanderlei Silva, who has fought him before.