Last night, on the main card of UFC 211, Brazilian grappling whiz Demian Maia picked up a decision win over Jorge Masvidal, seemingly clinching a shot at welterweight champ Tyron Woodley in the process. In the current era of money fights, however, it’s possible that Maia’s spot in line is usurped by a bigger name, such as Nick Diaz, or even Georges St-Pierre.
Though a little bit of trash talk with Woodley could go a long way in ensuring he gets the next title shot, Maia says comporting himself in this way would be contrary to his principles. The streaking welterweight star will not be selling out to earn his shot at gold.
“I’m not going to sell myself just because I want to be a champion, just because I want to make more money,” Maia told the media after his win (via MMAFighting.com). “I don’t sell myself. I am what I am. For a lot of people, for my kids, I don’t want to change… It’s a big mistake to try to please everybody. I have fans and I’m looking at them. I fight for them. … I have my principles and I’m not going to change my principles.”
Maia then broke down a potential fight with Woodley, saying that he believes he’s seen some holes in the champ’s game.
“I saw some things in Tyron’s game I can capitalize on, which I’m not going to say right now,” Maia said. “I know the gaps that he has, but he’s pretty dangerous. His hands are heavy, he’s short so it’s probably hard to take down a good wrestler. So it’s a very, very hard matchup for me but once I get there’s it’s 50-50. I know that.
“I’ve been in this division for 12 fights. I’ve won 10 fights, and almost all of those fights have been against top-15 and top-10 competitors. I know my level and I know I can win against anyone in this division.”
Do you think Demian Maia will get the title shot he deserves?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/14/2017.