Groundfighting wizard Demian Maia will headline in his home country of Brazil on October 9 when he battles fellow submission ace Jake Shields on the UFC Fight Night card in Barueri. Read on for seven of his defining moments.
Ryan Jensen – UFC 77 – October 20, 2007
Result – Maia Wsub1 (see submission)
After just six pro fights, Maia, a decorated jiu-jitsu black belt, got the call to compete in the UFC, and for his first test, he was matched up with seasoned and rugged vet Ryan Jensen. Turns out that Jensen didn’t have a chance, as Maia finished him off with a rear naked choke in just 2:40, earning Submission of the Night honors to kick off his Octagon career in style.
Jason MacDonald – UFC 87 – August 9, 2008
Result – Maia Wsub3 (see fight)
Maia added another Submission of the Night award to his ledger six months after the Jensen fight, finishing off Ed Herman in the second round. And while he repeated the win / SOTN award combo against Jason MacDonald at UFC 87, this bout wasn’t a one-sided blowout, as both fighters traded submission attempts throughout the bout, putting on an epic and entertaining display of groundfighting until Maia locked in the ending rear naked choke in the third and final round.
Chael Sonnen – UFC 95 – February 21, 2009
Result – Maia Wsub1 (see submission)
In moving to 10-0 overall and 4-0 in the Octagon with a UFC 91 win over Nate Quarry, Maia didn’t pick up a fourth Submission of the Night award, but he remedied that in his fifth UFC appearance, introducing British fans to his brand of jiu-jitsu with a win over Chael Sonnen that saw the bout ended by a triangle choke midway through the first round.
Anderson Silva – UFC 112 – April 10, 2010
Result – Silva W5 (see fight $)
After losing his unbeaten record with a stunning 21 second knockout loss against Nate Marquardt, Maia bounced back with a three round decision win over Dan Miller and then lucked into a UFC middleweight title fight with Anderson Silva after Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen were unavailable for the bout in Abu Dhabi. And while the fight is best remembered for being one of the most bizarre of Silva’s reign thanks to his showboating throughout the fight, Maia did last the distance with one of the sport’s premier finishers and even took the fight to Silva in the late rounds. Suffice to say, it was a key learning experience for Maia.
Mark Munoz – UFC 131 – June 11, 2011
Result – Munoz W3 (see event $)
Following the Silva fight, Maia put together two fairly unimpressive wins over Mario Miranda and Kendall Grove, but in his next bout against Mark Munoz, a loss was the result, but in the process, the Brazilian showed off an improved striking game, one that saw him rock “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” early on. Call it another step in the evolution of Maia from submission fighter to mixed martial artist.
Dong Hyun Kim – UFC 148 – July 7, 2012
Result – Maia TKO1 (see event $)
After going 1-1 in post-Munoz bouts against Jorge Santiago and Chris Weidman, Maia decided to take a dip in the 170-pound pool, and though his first welterweight bout ended in just 47 seconds due to injury, those 47 seconds against Dong Hyun Kim showed Maia to be faster, fresher, and more dangerous in his new weight class.
Rick Story – UFC 153 – October 13, 2012
Result – Maia Wsub1 (see event $)
So how did Maia truly introduce himself to the welterweight division? By scoring his first submission win in over three years against Rick Story. Impressive from the opening bell until the finish two minutes and 30 seconds later, Maia picked up a defining win, and he did it in his home country of Brazil no less. A February 2013 win over Jon Fitch increased his profile at 170 pounds even more, leading him into his October 9 main event against Shields.