Demian Maia has been considered one of the greatest jiu jitsu practitioners in MMA. Save for maybe Ronaldo Souza, Roger Gracie and Fabricio Werdum, he is the best at what he does. His grappling attack is exceptional, and when he has an opponent locked up in a submission, their fate is sealed.
Fighting in the middleweight division, Maia has always been competitive with every one of his opponents. He went all five rounds with Anderson Silva, who is considered one of the best fighters to ever step inside the Octagon. He also went the distance with Chris Weidman, who is the current middleweight champion.
Now that Maia is in the welterweight division, he has looked phenomenal, scoring a record of 3-0. He made Jon Fitch look amateurish on the ground, submitted Rick Story in a way that has never been seen before in the UFC, and he defeated Dong Hyun Kim in rapid fashion, proving the move down was a smart one and may even have saved his fighting career.
Maia is slated to face Jake Shields on the UFC Fight Night 29 card, which will be the main event. This will be his biggest test thus far in the welterweight division, and it’s going to be an interesting battle if and when the fight hits the mat. Shields has branded his ground style American jiu jitsu, which is a little more offensive than regular Brazilian jiu jitsu.
It will be interesting to see which style of grappling reigns supreme, and a lot is riding on this fight for both fighters.
A win for Maia would certainly make him a top contender in the division, where he might even be able to fight for a title if his win at UFC Fight Night 29 is impressive and decisive.