Deemed today one of the greatest representatives of BJJ in mixed martial arts, Demian Maia has been around the block. On October 20, 2007, he was stepping inside the Octagon for the first time.
After shining with his superb jiu-jitsu in Brazil, the U.S. and Abu Dhabi, Demian successfully made the move to MMA, racking up six consecutive wins with three submissions. Then came his UFC debut at event No. 77 in Cincinatti. It was a bout in the middleweight division, where he would go on to climb and take a shot at Anderson Silva’s belt two years later.
His first opponent in the UFC was Ryan Jensen, who had 11 wins and two losses at that point. Demian started out aggressive and got a takedown. Jensen didn’t accept his fate, and kept reacting competently to Demian’s attempts. But then the Brazilian passed an arm under his opponent’s chin and squeezed, ending the fight in the first round and getting the Submission of the Night bonus.
You can check out Demian Maia’s debut in this video, and don’t forget to catch him in the co-main even of UFC Sao Paulo on Oct. 28!