Demian Maia (right) trains with heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos. | Photo: Marcelo Alonso


Demian Maia will take on former Sengoku Raiden Championship middleweight titleholder Jorge Santiago at UFC 136 “Edgar vs. Maynard 3” on Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston, and the outcome figures to have a significant impact on both men.

Santiago was on the wrong end of a second-round technical knockout against Brian Stann at UFC 130 in May, and Maia lost a unanimous decision to Mark Munoz at UFC 131 in June. Maia left no stone unturned, as he trained alongside current heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos and under famed boxing coach Luis Dorea.

“I’ve had such a great camp for this fight,” Maia told Sherdog.com. “I’ve prepared myself to face Santiago, who is a complete fighter with standup skills and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. This guy is a [former] Sengoku champion and deserves a lot of respect. Strategy will make the difference in the fight.”

The Brazilians will collide as part of the UFC 136 prelims package that will air on Spike TV at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m.PT. Once their business concludes, Maia and Santiago will have an interest in the featured middleweight duel between former title contender Chael Sonnen and the surging Stann, with the winner likely securing a crack at champion Anderson Silva. Maia, who has already lost to Silva and defeated Sonnen, sees Stann as the favorite.

“It’s difficult to say who the number two guy is in the division now,” he said. “Sonnen has a lack of rhythm [after not fighting for more than a year], while Stann, Munoz and Vitor Belfort are all fighting for that spot. Stann-Sonnen will be a tough fight, but Stann is on a roll. He’ll try to defend takedowns and exchange on his feet. Chael hasn’t fought in a while, so I’m betting on Stann.”

Sonnen’s verbal assaults on Brazil and Brazilians was first countered when Maia appeared on a television show saying he would be glad to teach the submissions-challenged Team Quest representative some jiu-jitsu and triangle defenses. In advance of UFC 136, Maia decided to take the edge off of some of the trash talk. He compared Sonnen’s to those of current Jungle Fight promoter and UFC veteran Wallid Ismail.

“When I said what I said [about the triangle defense classes], I was joking, but people took it seriously,” Maia said. “[Sonnen] has always treated me well, and we’ve never had any kind of problem or feud. Sonnen does his marketing like Wallid did during his fighting days -- by talking a lot.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Jon Jones, rash of injuries leave UFC in dire straits ahead of marquee events (Yahoo Sports)

  • 22 days ago
  • 118 views

From Yahoo Sports: UFC 187 was supposed to be an immaculate event but circumstances have changed that drastically. read news >>

Urijah Faber feeling 'a lot bigger, a lot stronger' ahead of UFC Fight Night 66

  • 23 days ago
  • 19 views

Urijah Faber is facing many obstacles for his UFC Fight Night 66 bout with Frankie Edgar. Faber is moving back up to featherweight after almost five years at bantamweight and traveling to the Philipp read news >>

Demian Maia wants fight in Sao Paulo; says new Reebok sponsorship system is 'fair'

  • 25 days ago
  • 2 views

Demian Maia would love to fight in his hometown of Sao Paulo at the TUF Finale Card on June 27. The Brazilian also spoke about the new Reebok sponsorship rules, which he favors over the previous one. read news >>

UFC: Big month ahead for Kiwi fighters

  • 26 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC: Big month ahead for Kiwi fighters By Daniel Richardson read news >>

Michelle Waterson's UFC debut set vs. Angela Magana at July's TUF 21 Finale

  • 26 days ago
  • 24 views

Former Invicta FC atomweight titleholder Michelle Waterson will move up in weight to the UFC women’s strawweight division and make her octagon debut against Angela Magana at the TUF 21 Finale on July read news >>

Mark Munoz sells Reign Training Center ahead of retirement fight at UFC Fight Night 66

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

After deciding that his next fight -- which will be against Luke Barnatt at UFC Fight Night 66 on May 23, 2015 in Manila, Philippines -- would be his last, Mark Munoz took another step in his process read news >>

Jon Jones yanked from UFC rankings, Jose Aldo promoted to pound-for-pound king

  • 27 days ago
  • 12 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo is the best pound-for-pound mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter in the world, according to the official UFC rankings. Sorry, Deme read news >>

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Manny Pacquiao expresses confidence ahead of mega fight

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

Manny Pacquiao spoke to his fans on Tuesday at a rally held for him at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. Pacquiao expressed confidence he'd defeat Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on Saturday a read news >>

The MMA Hour - 279 - John Dodson

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

d John Dodson looks back at Johnson vs. Horiguchi and ahead to his UFC 187 fight against Zach Makovsky. read news >>