The most prolific finisher in UFC history, Royce Gracie may have his record broken soon. Gracie mopped up three of the first four installments of the UFC and got ten submission wins. Last Saturday the 27th, black-belt Demian Maia approached Gracie’s record as he used a textbook rear naked choke to defeat Carlos Condit in the UFC event held in Vancouver, Canada. That was submission No. 9.
“His fight was perfect. He showed how efficient jiu-jitsu is, and that he can win only using his jiu-jitsu. The way he’s going, he will beat that number and put the record way up [laughs]. He’s doing great,” said Royce in an interview to MMA Fighting.
Maia already has some impressive numbers in the UFC. He is the Brazilian with the biggest number of wins — 18 since his 2007 debut. Perhaps crazier is that he went his last four fights — versus Neil Magny, Gunnar Nelson, Matt Brown and Carlos Condit — taking just 13 significant strikes in all.
“You don’t need to trade punches or allow getting punched in the face to win the fight, and Demian shows that. He spent some time wanting to use Muay Thai, but grew a lot when he started believing in his jiu-jitsu again. You have to work on your stand-up to know what’s coming, but jiu-jitsu is enough to win the fight,” Gracie added.
With his latest victory, Maia comes closer to a fight for the belt, currently owned by Tyron Woolley. And Gracie seems pretty confident that would result in another Brazilian champion: “He has everything. He’s a calm fighter, doesn’t get too anxious when he steps in there to try to trade punches. He just goes there and gets the job done.”