He scored five back-to-back tapout wins in the UFC (against Ryan Jensen, Ed Herman, Jason MacDonald, Nate Quarry and Chael Sonnen), but life is no walk in the park for anybody. A Jiu-Jitsu black belt with smooth moves, Demian Maia has now had to cut weight after a string of defeats and will be making his welterweight debut this Saturday at UFC 148.
“It’s funny because early in my career as a UFC middleweight I’d usually walk around at around 85kg, fight at 83.9 kg. Going back to 85 kg and then having to drop to 77 kg reminded me how having extra weight doesn’t necessarily mean I’m stronger. I feel quicker and don’t feel I have any issues where strength is concerned, so I feel that even though I had a hard time dropping weight, I did the right thing,” Demian is quoted as saying on the UFC website.
The São Paulo native will be taking on Korea’s Dong Hyun Kim, who has but a single blemish on his record: a knockout loss to Carlos Condit, the owner of the divisional interim belt.
“Like any good fighter, he presents a number of challenges and difficulties,” says Demian in the article. “I see Kim as a solid competitor, and for the level he reached in judo, he has certainly shown the level of dedication and discipline he has. He’s a complete fighter, is aggressive, and has a solid background. It’s an important fight for the both of us; it’s a fight that will be a boon to whoever wins it,” wagers the former Brazilian national Jiu-Jitsu champion.
“Moving to the welterweight division is both a blessing and a curse, in a way. It’s a blessing because every athlete wants to have the means to make it to the top of their sport, and it’s a curse because any welterweight fighter will have to walk on burning coals to get past Carlos Condit, Rory McDonald, Martin Kampmann, Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger, Josh Koshcheck and the rest, until getting a shot at Georges St-Pierre,” says the Fabio Gurgel black belt.
“I’m working hard with my team for this fight. I know what it means, and I’m really glad to be a part of UFC 148. I’m going to give it my best, and I truly hope that it’s a fight that pleases the fans and will be the start of a new march, step by step,” he says in closing.
What about you, gentle reader, will Demian Maia take it? Let us know who you’ve got picked in the comments section below.