Earlier this month, on the main card of UFC 211, Jorge Masvidal took on Demian Maia in a contest that was widely perceived as a welterweight number one contender fight. Despite some big moments on the feet, Masvidal became the latest casualty of Maia’s incredible grappling skill, surrendering four takedowns and giving up almost eight minutes of control time on the mat. He lost a split decision as a result.
On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Masvidal recounted this bout with Maia, and explained what surprised him most about the grappling star. Apparently, he was caught off guard by the Brazilian’s sheer strength, and by his innovative use of half guard.
“The strength level surprised me,” Masvidal explained. “He’s strong, definitely the strongest guy I’ve been in the cage with, and his half guard is really a class like I’ve never seen. I’ve rolled with multiple Mundial champions and ADCC champions, and his half guard is unique. Like, when you’re in his half guard, you feel threatened the whole time like you don’t ever feel threatened with many people in grappling. And that’s not just MMA; I’m talking about straight grapplers, good guys on the ground who come from that same background that I roll with on the regular.”
“This is unique. Very, very tailored to MMA, being active, aggressively sweeping. So it was a treat. I actually learned a couple things from it that I could use myself.”
Masvidal also explained that he feels he has quite a bit to work on after being held down by Maia for so long.
“I’m the type of guy that if I get held down for 10 seconds in practice, I f*cking go crazy. Later on, I’m thinking about it still. I still have to deal with that, that this guy was able to do it for a lot longer than 10 seconds in a fight. I’ve got to fix those holes and stuff.”
What did you think of Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia’s UFC 211 fight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/22/2017.