Demian Maia was going to face Alan Belcher on September 15, but a detached retina pulled Belcher from the fight. In an about face, the date for Demian’s next outing was bumped to August 28, at UFC 118 in Boston. In Belcher’s place goes Mario “Super Mario” Miranda.
Not that well known to fans, Mario (10w-1l) is coming off a win over David Loiseau via knockout at UFC 115. The fighter, a Jiu-Jitsu black belt and former South American wrestling champion, is thrilled with the chance to lock horns with a former challenger to the middleweight belt. He knows a positive result against Demian will up his stock significantly.
“It was a great surprise. All the cards were full through October and this opportunity to fight again came up right when I was training well. All I did was up the physical conditioning part, but as my conditioning was already good and I knew who my opponent would be, I started focusing on my fight strategy. Training in Los Angeles has been a great experience,” he says, elaborating on who he has backing him up to beat Demian in the octagon.
“To train with Anderson Silva and observe him is to learn the whole time,” he said on the UFC website.
For the challenge Mario is keeping humble, but is going out there to win.
“I don’t know if I’m more well-rounded, but I’m confident in every situation that can come up in a fight. After my last fight I continued training and sharpening up my hands, kicks and grappling. I’m not going to piddle around.”