5 Things You Should Know About Demian Maia
Warriors like Demian Maia only come along every so often. The 41-year-old Ultimate Fighting Championship mainstay faces the surging Anthony Rocco Martin in a three-round welterweight showcase at UFC on ESPN 3 this Saturday at the Target Center in Minneapolis. In doing so, Maia will become just the fourth fighter in UFC history—Donald Cerrone, Jim Miller, and Jeremy Stephens are the others—to make at least 30 appearances inside the hallowed Octagon. He last competed at UFC Fight Night 144 in February, when he submitted former Bellator MMA champion Lyman Good with a first-round rear-naked choke. As Maia prepares for his showdown with Martin, here are five things you should know about him.
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1. The miles on his odometer have piled up.
Maia has fought in eight different countries as a mixed martial artist: the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Finland, Venezuela, Brazil, Canada, England and Chile.
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2. Failure does not deter him.
Maia has fought for UFC championships in two different weight classes. He lost a unanimous decision to Anderson Silva in a battle over the middleweight crown at UFC 112 in April 2010 and dropped a unanimous verdict to Tyron Woodley in a failed bid to capture the welterweight title at UFC 214 in July 2017.
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3. He has only fallen short against quality opposition.
The nine men who have defeated Maia—Silva, Woodley, Nate Marquardt, Mark Munoz, Chris Weidman, Jake Shields, Rory MacDonald, Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman—have 199 wins between them.
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4. Durability has been a strength.
Maia has been stopped only once in his 35-fight career. Marquardt, a former Pancrase and Strikeforce champion, wiped him out with one punch 21 seconds into their encounter at UFC 102 on Aug. 29, 2009. Maia entered the cage with an 11-0 record.
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5. World-class grappling skills butter his bread.
Maia holds the rank of black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He was a gold medalist at the 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships in Newark, New Jersey, and has delivered half (13) of his 26 career victories in mixed martial arts by submission. His methods: eight rear-naked chokes, two triangle chokes, one neck crank, one guillotine choke and one armbar.
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