Maia: “I’m a jiu-jitsu guy and that’s my root”

Demian Maia

Former UFC title challenger Demian Maia recently overcame a potentially career-ending shoulder infection in order to fight formerly unbeaten welterweight fighter Ryan LaFlare at this past Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event in Brazil.

The 2007 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Champion, Maia, used his superior grappling skills to dominate LaFlare for 4 of 5 rounds in their event-headlining bout.

However, the 37-year-old Brazilian was not satisfied with his performance, as he told Guilherme Cruz of

“The first rounds were good, I dominated them, but I didn’t train for a long time,” said Maia, “It’s not an excuse. I want another five-round fight, and I will be better next time, no doubt about it. It wasn’t easy to go through what I’ve been through.

“I dominated the first four rounds, and the fifth round was his. It’s hard to stay out of training for three months like I did. I never stayed so long without training. It’s not an excuse. I knew it would be tough if the fight went to the fourth round. I got tired, of course, everybody saw that. But I will get better and be ready for five rounds.”

“Jiu-jitsu teaches you not to hurt your opponent, and that’s inside of me. That’s why I didn’t use the elbow when I was in a dominant position. But of course, that’s a weapon and I have to get better on this aspect.

“I’m a jiu-jitsu guy and that’s my root. I will always go for the submission instead of hurting my opponent. That’s why I love jiu-jitsu, this is the best martial art in the world. It’s an art that seeks the peace, to dominate your opponent. But, as an athlete, I know I have to get better, use more elbows. And I will get better. I locked an arm-triangle and did my best to submit, but I couldn’t. But I can’t complain. I wanted the win and I got it.”

The victory marked Maia’s second in a row, as he had previously defeated Alexander Yakovlev via unanimous decision in May of 2014. Since dropping down to the UFC’s welterweight ranks in 2012, Maia has compiled a 5-2 record.

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