Demian Maia has been on an absolute tear since he dropped down welterweight. He has consistently looked better and was absolutely dominant in his latest victory against Jon Fitch. Maia has gone completely back to his jiu-jitsu roots, and it has done nothing but pay dividends for the fighter.
This is the same fighter that submitted Chael Sonnen and Nate Quarry. Maia is finally starting to understand that he does not have to stand up with everyone to make fights exciting. He is completely content to take guys down and try to strangle them, and that is exactly why Maia will submit Jake Shields.
In my opinion, Shields has done the exact opposite of what Maia is doing. Shields would rather get the guy up against the cage and make him carry his weight. It is a smart strategy for a Shields-type wrestler, but he has completely abandoned his grappling game. Shields should be doing exactly what Maia is doing, but he has seemed nervous ever since he suffered that brutal knockout loss to Jake Ellenberger.
In order for Shields to win this fight, he is going to have to be aggressive — he is going to have to hit first and shoot first.
The reason that I see Maia submitting Shields is because I don’t see Shields coming out and being aggressive. All of Shield’s past fights have seen him refuse to pull the trigger. I see Maia coming out with a head full of steam of taking complete control of this fight. Maia will be extremely aggressive and will submit Shields.