Demian Maia is a role model on and off the canvas. He has built a career around his polite, humble and respectful demeanor. A UFC fighter nearing a title bout, Maia noticed some time ago a big shift in behavior from athletes vying to be contenders. Trash-talking has risen in MMA, and those who know how to market themselves have been cutting in line.
Maia shuns that style, unlike Conor McGregor, who is currently the biggest name in the UFC — although it must be said McGregor can back up his words with skill. Talking to our team in his Sao Paulo school, the ADCC champion answers a tough question: How to remain a martial artist while winning over public opinion and getting people’s attention?