Demian Maia is coming off one of the most impressive wins of his career.
At UFC on FOX 21, Maia ran right through former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit, submitting him at 1:52 of the very first round. It was Condit’s first submission loss since Pat Healy was able to accomplish that feat back in 2006.
With Maia on the cusp of challenging for another shot at UFC gold, former UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre mentioned Maia’s name as one of a few opponents that he would like to challenge in his return to the Octagon.
“I’m honored that he mentioned my name because he’s a legend,” Maia told MMA Fighting. “He’s maybe the only fighter to leave as champion. He’s one of the best, for sure, alongside Anderson (Silva). I consider Anderson the best of all time, but he’s definitely the No. 2. But my goal is to fight for the title. I want to fight for the title. After that, it would be a pleasure to fight him or anyone else. If everything goes according to my plans, I’ll come out as champion and then I can fight him next.”
Despite the debate of money fights vs championship fights and being able to rake in a big payday in a fight with St-Pierre, Maia says that he never got into the sport of mixed martial arts because of money.
“I’m really happy to be able to live my life doing what I love,” he continued. “Everybody needs money, obviously, but that’s far from being the most important thing in the world to me. You can trade money for other good things and that’s nice, but it’s not the first thing that matters to me. I’m a martial artist and I have other priorities.”
Just like how Maia went into the competitive jiu-jitsu scene years back, Maia has his eyes set on winning gold in the UFC.
“My goal is to win the belt,” the 2007 ADCC champion said. “If I have to wait for Woodley to fight Thompson, it’s not the end of the world. It’s definitely a better scenario if I can fight first, but when people ask me who deserves it most, you can make the case for each one of us with good arguments. Thinking as an analyst, it’s hard to say for sure. It’s 50-50.”
While UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is campaigning for a big money fight with Georges St-Pierre or Nick Diaz, Thompson and Maia are licking their chops for their chance to take the belt from the newly crowned champ.
Who do you think deserves the first title shot against the UFC welterweight Tyron Woodley? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!