Demian Maia is gunning for his chance to fight for the UFC welterweight title but has at least one more fight booked before he gets an opportunity to fight for the belt.
Currently ranked #3 in the official UFC rankings, Maia will be taking on #6 ranked welterweight Jorge Masvidal and rising welterweight star Alan Jouban spoke with BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor on a recent episode of Rapid Fire about Maia and his journey to another shot at UFC gold.
Taylor asked Jouban, “Do you think that Demian Maia gets held back because he is a gentleman and maybe due to the language barrier?”
“Absolutely,” Jouban said. “You know the UFC tells us that every single time. ‘When you get done with this fight you have that microphone, that is your opportunity to shine and call somebody out and get yourself noticed.'”
“If you don’t take advantage of that then it is a missed opportunity. That is what is happening with a guy like Demian Maia. He obviously is one of the biggest threats in the division because of his outstanding grappling. But you said it, man. There is a bit of a language barrier there and sometimes his fights are not super exciting. I mean to argue for the UFC’s case, are they going to put all of this money, promotion, and backing into a fight with Demian Maia where he possibly goes out there and chokes out a guy in thirty seconds? That fight with Condit was a sick display of jiu-jitsu but the reality is fans want to see more. They (the fans) want some type of beef, some type of controversy, or some blood. They want to see a fight or a brawl. Don’t get me wrong, some fans can appreciate, like I do, the art of beautiful jiu-jitsu. But the majority of MMA understand that. As great as beautiful jiu-jitsu is, it doesn’t have the same appeal as Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor talking mad shit to each other. That is enticing. Even as a professional mixed martial artist I want to see people talk shit. I want to see genuine heated exchanges. I don’t want to see fake exchanges or two guys who are too polite to one another. It sucks for some guys I guess, but that is just the nature of the beast. People want to see blood. The UFC knows this. That is what makes them money. So yeah it is tough for a guy like Demian Maia to get the love because of his style and maybe a bit due to the language barrier and the fact that he is pretty much a gentleman. He will never convert to being the bad guy so they keep pushing him to the sidelines.”
What are your thoughts on Demian Maia’s character and fighting style? Is the jiu-jitsu expert too much of a nice guy to get a marketing push from the UFC? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/13/2017.