With an impressive 6-fight win streak, many believed that Demian Maia would be up for the next welterweight title shot after Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson fought at UFC 205. Ultimately however, after Woodley retained his belt following a majority draw, the UFC opted to book a rematch between the two men for UFC 209, which takes place this Saturday.
Demian Maia was left without a title fight, and was subsequently booked for a fight with Jorge Masvidal, which rubbed many fans the wrong way.
In a new interview with MMAJunkie, Tyron Woodley spoke about Maia’s situation, saying:
“Part of me wants to feel bad and have compassion for Demian Maia. The other part of me – I’ve been in four No. 1 contendership fights,” Woodley told reporters at today’s UFC 209 open workouts. “If Carlos Condit had beat me he would have immediately fought for a title shot. Rory MacDonald beat me, fought for a title shot. If Kelvin Gastelum beat me they said he would have fought for a title shot. So I’ve been in that position enough to know that he has to do something different for himself.”
While Maia’s win streak is certainly an impressive one, many feel the top ranked contender doesn’t get the attention he deserves due to the fact that fans prefer to see knockouts rather than Maia’s JiuJitsu.
“Unfortunately the sport of mixed martial arts has turned to where the fans want to see you get knocked the hell out and cut open and get in these wars,” Woodley said. “They don’t respect his art. He’s one of the best grapplers in the UFC right now, and they don’t respect his art that he brings to the table. That’s not my job to go and promote him. I have a hard enough time promoting myself.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/2/2017.