Demian speaks of challenge and backs submission wins

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Demian trains grappling with Xande Ribeiro before UFC 112. Photo: Luca Atalla

Demian Maia has Alan Belcher in his path for his next challenge. The black belt’s first fight since challenging Anderson Silva for his middleweight belt takes place at Ultimate Fight Night 22 this coming September 15.

The setback to Anderson was the second of his career, but it didn’t shake Demian’s confidence. The desire to return to the octagon is great and the experience adds to his evolution.

“I’m doing great. I feel better with every fight and I feel I’m improving in training. Every day I learn more about being an MMA fighter and not just a Jiu-Jitsu one. It’s great to discover new things, training formulas, and improve the various aspects of my game. It stimulates me,” he tells GRACIEMAG.com.

Rear-naked choke in the UFC. Photo: Josh Hedges

After a period training in the United States, Demian is back in Brazil, where he will carry on in his preparations.

“I’m back after four months. It’s great over there, but I’d rather be here to train seriously. I had a lot of great training partners, but it was a stage pre-scheduled and now I’m back in Brazil. I’m going to train in São Paulo and Salvador and I’ll fly out closer to fight time.”

Photo: Luca Atalla

Anyone who only wants to see knockouts should go watch boxing”

A fan of good Jiu-Jitsu, Demian enjoyed Fabricio Werdum’s win over Fedor Emelianenko and Brock Lesnar’s over Shane Carwin, which both fit his style. With eight submissions in 12 fights, the black belt appreciates ground work.

“I found it excellent, Comprido trains Brock and helped in his evolution. There are a lot of things that work in MMA and Jiu-Jitsu is and always will be a system that works in real fighting. That’s been proven already,” he says, disagreeing of the assertion only striking brings excitement in MMA.

“Anyone who only wants to see knockouts should go watch boxing. If they want MMA, they’ll see a lot of submissions, especially with the evolution all the fighters have been demonstrating. We’ll be seeing more and more submissions,” he says in finishing.

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