On July 29, in the co-main event of the stacked UFC 214, Demian Maia will challenge Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight crown. Though this is an undeniably massive fight for the Brazilian grappling specialist, he’s determined not to think of it as the biggest fight of his life – he learned not to do that in his first UFC title fight: a 2010 middleweight battle with Anderson Silva.
Maia explained this thought process on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“It’s about awareness and be conscious that it’s just another fight and not see it as the biggest fight of my life. I really need to believe that,” he said.
“When I fought Anderson (Silva), I was like, ‘This is the biggest fight of my life, and this is going to happen.’ You’re dreaming too much about the future, the tomorrow. Fighting Tyron I need to know that it doesn’t matter what happens after this. I am living in this fight, just another fight and I feeling that, not just saying it. It’s important. I am a much better wrestler, striker and I am much better in control of my feelings. I am much better overall.”
“The things that I learned with my time is that you don’t put this kind of pressure, it’s unreal pressure. Like, it doesn’t matter if it’s the last chance or not,” he continued. “It’s just another fight. I could’ve fought Tyron a couple of years ago, and now I am fighting him for the title. In my mind, it’s just another fight. I need to go in there and win against a really tough opponent. If I put that in my mind that I got to win it will be pressure that can put me of track.”
What do you think of these comments from Demian Maia?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/18/2017.