Former Title Contender Maia Stresses Strategy Ahead of UFC 136


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.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 6 days ago
  • 3 views

Demian Maia and Ryan LaFlare will finally return to the Octagon. The Brazilian welterweight, forced out of a bout with Mike Pyle in August with a bone infection, is set to take on LaFlare, who hasn't read news >>

  • 6 days ago
  • 1 views

Two more interesting fights have been added to a UFC Fight Night card in Rio on March 21st. The March 21st UFC Fight Night 62 card in Rio de Janeiro was looking pretty great even with only a couple o read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 15 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones has set his sights on becoming the most decorated combatant to ever step foot inside the Octagon. Even better than former read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 107 views

UFC middleweight contender Luke Rockhold discusses the UFC 182 main event, as well as whether he is scheduled to face Lyoto Machida in the near future. read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 31 views

UFC president Dana White confirmed to UFC Tonight that Anderson Silva will jump to the front of the line and earn a middleweight title shot if he beats Nick Diaz on January 31st. Apparently one of th read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 121 views

Anderson Silva once held the UFC middleweight title for 2,458 days, cementing his spot as one of the promotion’s greatest champions. read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 0 views

The Nevada Athletic Commission has randomly drug tested middleweight superstar, Vitor Belfort three times ahead of UFC 184, and plans to test him once more before handing off testing duties to the Ca read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 7 views

Eeze normal. Jacare Souza? Luke Rockhold? Ain't nobody got time for that. At least nobody charged with making fights in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), as promotion president Dana White reveale read news >>

  • 19 days ago
  • 43 views

Earlier this week, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White told the mixed martial arts (MMA) media that former middleweight champion Anderson Silva would be next in line for a 185-p read news >>