Jiu-Jitsu champ Demian Maia reviews main mistake at UFC on Fox

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Jiu-Jitsu and ADCC 2007 star Demian Maia had a crack at the UFC middleweight title back in 2010, even racked up five back-to-back submission wins in the promotion.


Now after his participation in the main card at UFC on Fox 2 last Saturday, the Brazilian black belt had a chat with GRACIEMAG.com in which he recognized where he went wrong. Coming up, Demian Maia addresses his tactics and points out the mistakes he has identified and the lessons he has derived since dropping a unanimous decision to the tough young Chris Weidman, another ADCC alumnus.

Demian Maia absorbs a kick from Weidman at UFC on Fox 2, in Chicago. Photo: Josh Hedges/UFC.

Demian Maia absorbs a kick from Weidman at UFC on Fox 2, in Chicago. Photo: Josh Hedges/UFC.


“I really put a lot of faith in my standup, since I felt quick and heavy handed, and thought I could knock him out boxing. I based my strategy on that confidence, which in fact wasn’t what I had agreed to do with my trainers,” said Demian. “I was confident and believed in it; that’s why I took that risk. That was my belief at that time,” he admitted to reporter Junior Samurai, while also remembering that Weidman is quite a piece of work on the ground himself.

Fired up to win the fight by knockout, the Jiu-Jitsu champ ended up running out of steam and unable to rally back.

“I was in great shape for this fight, really well prepared. Now I don’t know if it was the adrenaline from wanting the knockout too much; that could have sapped my energy,” Maia added.


“The lesson I ended up learning was that all I should be thinking about is winning. In this fight, I went in dead set on getting the knockout and, after staggering him standing, getting him to the ground to finish him. But I think I have to start fighting with winning on my mind, fighting to always be in a dominant position, and that’s not what I did. I went in there thinking about ending the fight, and that wore me out a lot, hindered me. I should have fought thinking about winning, no matter what. Because I already knew he’d taken me down, so my goal should have been to score too, to get a takedown back on him, like I always used to do,” recalled the Fabio Gurgel black belt.

What do you think, dear reader, do you agree with him? Comment below.

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There are 12 comments for this article
  1. Jasonkorolenko at 3:40 pm

    Regarding this statement, “…he’d taken me down, so my goal should have been to score too, to get a takedown back on him,” I don’t agree. It saddened me to see Maia try so hard to get back up after Weidman took him down. I’d rather have seen Maia use his jiu-jitsu to sweep Weidman or even submit him from the guard. We all know he can do it, and it’s frustrating to see him ignore his bread and butter, his jiu-jitsu.

    • Anders Rosendal at 10:39 am

      As it is today you should try to get up. If you don’t submit or sweep: You lose the round.

      But to the question in the article: In my opinion he should model himself after GSP. If maia could combine strikes with his takedowns he would be really dangerous. And also on top winning the round if he didn’t get a submission 🙂

  2. Klever1856 at 4:29 pm

    His biggest mistake has been putting his jiu jitsu aside and concentrating so much on standing with his opponents. Yes, he does need better stand up, but he does not need to become a K1 Striker, he needs it to set up the takedown and give his opponents something else to think about. When he was using his jiu jitsu, he was winning and looked very dangerous, just look at his fight with Chael Sonen as an example of how dangerous he can be on the ground.

  3. Rayechevarria at 4:46 pm

    I believe that Demain Maia’s stand-up will never be an offensive weapon. He grew up as a boxer than it would be. He’s essentially playing catch up. His best weapon is his BJJ. He’s one world titles in this field. If i were his trainer, I would use boxing to help set up his jiu jitsu. Then only then will he’ll become a force once again.

  4. Adam at 6:05 am

    Maybe it is so that concentrating too much on the standup will make him less good on the ground. The result will be mediocre at the ground and standing up.
    Better it would to continue the ground game and add enough standing up. Sure, he needs quite a lot of boxning training still, but not forgetting his strong points either (which is on the ground). And it would be fantastic to see his BJJ magic, for now I think his kickboxning is not entertaining. It doesn’t really look good. It’s ok but not great.

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