Lesson in strength, technique and Jiu-Jitsu Demian learned training with gold judoka

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Jiu-Jitsu champ Demian Maia poses at UFC weigh-ins. Photo by Josh Hedges

Demian Maia at UFC weigh-ins / Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa

The year didn’t start off all too well for submission whiz Demian Maia but, between us, someone who likes living on easy street doesn’t go sticking his neck out at World Championships, ADCCs and UFCs.

In his first training session for UFC on Fox 2 of 2012, there was a power failure at the academy where he trains in Moema, São Paulo. Then he saw his opponent get switched out on him. And even before all that, he had to take on judo world champion Tiago Camilo, whose CV also includes an Olympic medal.

After finding out his date for the coming 28th will now be the undefeated Chris Weidman, a Matt Serra student with plenty of tapout talent of his own—and who steps in for Michael Bisping, who was pulled from fighting Maia to be matched with Chael Sonnen—, Demian spoke with GRACIEMAG.com.

“I’ve trained Jiu-Jitsu my entire life, so I’m ready to fight anyone who wants to do Jiu-Jitsu,” he said, further revealing that due to time constraints his training routine shouldn’t see any major modifications, “There’s no time to change much; it’s just around the corner—just a trifle or two, because the training plan’s been done already.” Demian holds eight career submissions in MMA to the young Weidman’s three.


Now that first training session of the new year kicked off with an interesting lesson, picked up from an unexpected and brief roll with a 2007 judo world champion and 2000 Olympic silver medalist.

“Truth is, it was really quick; we’d lifted some weights at the gym and decided to roll. Which was great, since he has excellent base and I had a hard time getting the sweep,” recounted Demian. “And it was even better because I was coming off a strength workout and was tired, so I could get a sense of what his strength was like, since the strength of judokas, wrestlers and Jiu-Jitsu players all feel different. The direction and feel his strength had, perhaps from the angle he’d hold each position, were really different; so it was cool to realize that.

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