Last Saturday night, on the main card of an action-packed UFC 211, Demian Maia met Jorge Masvidal in what appeared to be a welterweight number one contender fight. Though Masvidal certainly had his moments, Maia would win this fight, relying on his legendary grappling en route to a split decision victory.
With this win, Maia seems to have earned himself a shot at reigning UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley. While there’s not a welterweight alive who doesn’t grasp the dangers Maia poses on the mat, Woodley believes Maia will have a difficult time taking him down and taking his back. The champ gave his thoughts on the matchup on FS1’s UFC 211 post fight show.
“As we say at Roufusport at the end of practice, ‘’they think they want some, but they don’t really want none,'” Woodley said (h/t MMAJunkie.com). “You guys have to recognize I have the highest takedown defense in the entire welterweight division, (and) second overall in the UFC. I’ve fought the Andre Galvaos of the world and I’ve also fought the Jake Shields. He’ll have to pack a lunch if he thinks he’s going to jump on my back like that and take me down like he did Jorge Masvidal and Carlos Condit.”
This assessment from Woodley is contrary to a recent statement from Maia, who told the media post UFC 211 that he believes there are plenty of exposable holes in Woodley’s game.
“I saw some things in Tyron’s game I can capitalize on, which I’m not going to say right now,” he 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.”
Who do you think wins a welterweight title fight between Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/15/2017.