Demian Maia (Pictures) debuted in the UFC in October 2007 with an impressive first-round submission of Ryan Jensen (Pictures). The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt returns to the Octagon April 19 in Canada for a middleweight bout against Ed Herman (Pictures).

Sherdog.com spoke with Maia about that match and the future of the 185-pound weight class.

When the fight against Ed Herman (Pictures) started as a rumor on the Internet, the fans generally only talked about you finishing him. How do you see this situation?
Well, I don't follow forums and this Internet stuff. But I think Herman is a good fighter. He's not weak or something like that. He's a dangerous fighter and he developed a lot from his first fight to his last one. If I'm not wrong, I think the North American fans don't like Herman at all. I'm not sure. So perhaps due to this fact, they picked me to beat him. If we're talking about Herman, he's good. Taller than me, with a good wrestling base and very tough to be taken down.

Now that you know about the discussion, is this good for you or not?
For me it doesn't influence. When I step in the Octagon is when I'll see what will happen. But for Herman this can influence him in two distinct aspects. I mean he can use it to train more and more, to show that he can win. Or, on the other hand, he could reach the Octagon mentally weak. I believe more in the first option. Anyway, in the moment of the fight, what people have said before won't prevail. I already watched several MMA fights where the 100-percent favorite was schooled.

You've known about this fight since 2007. Have you been training since then?
We were supposed to fight in March, so I knew about him as my opponent at the end of last year. I am always training, but when a fight is confirmed I start to make my routine. I'd like to make a super training system of boxing, wrestling, BJJ, MMA sparring and conditioning everyday, but I can't make it happen. So I try to focus each piece of my training on what I will prioritize. My biggest priority is BJJ, but in a few stages of this preparation I increase the other aspects. I developed a system where I have everything settled until fight week, so I don't [lack training that] I need to compete in MMA. Just to mention an example, I had a seminar in Peru last month. So my routine changed, however I took the opportunity of traveling to train boxing with Daniel Aspe, an outstanding mixed martial artist who has a huge background in boxing.

Is boxing what you choose to fill out your game?
Not at all. I trained kung fu when I was a kid, so when I started in MMA I realized my high kicks were very good. I was surprised with my performance in Super Challenge in 2006 when I high kicked, and I kept training kicks because I liked them and I felt very good standing up with knees also. But my weakness was boxing. I had trouble in the half distance. In the long and short ones I was good, but between wasn't working. Now I think I improved this. I have the British fighter James Zikic (Pictures) supporting me here in Brazil. He is a pro boxer. I have my boxing coach, Andre Lopes, too, but Zikic is sparring with me and I feel a good evolution in this area. But this was in training. I can't say I'll knock Herman out [laughs].

You talked about Super Challenge, and in that competition you dominated two muay Thai experts in Vitelmo Kubis Bandeira and Gustavo Machado (Pictures). Landing kicks, closing the distance and handling them on the ground.
I believe I have two factors that helped me in this game. The combination of my standup experience when I was a kid conditioned me to this, plus my BJJ focused on self-defense, submissions, MMA and not on points. And I guess I was born to fight more MMA than BJJ. I know I need to develop a lot in MMA, but I feel very good when I'm fighting because we can use everything, and in BJJ we're a little limited. These are two different sports, you know. Well, I wished to be an MMA fighter first before BJJ. Since the sport wasn't mainstream I wanted to do it, so I guess naturally I got conditioned since I was a young martial artist.

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

Related News

Ben Rothwell calls for Andrei Arlovski 'dance' after first-round submission win at UFC Fight Night 68

  • 24 days ago
  • 31 views

That's actually not a bad idea. Bizarre post-fight interviews aside, Ben Rothwell is making waves in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight division. During last night's (Sat., June 6, read news >>

Video: Joe Proctor discusses super-late submission win at UFC Fight Night 68

  • 24 days ago
  • 6 views

Justin Edwards, a 2-1 underdog, was likely two seconds away from a sizable upset at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 68 event. But Joe Proctor got an opening, and he was determined not to squander it.Filed read news >>

Ben Rothwell reacts to bizarre post-fight interview: 'I guess you got to make some noise, right?'

  • 24 days ago
  • 23 views

Following his first-round submission victory over Matt Mitrione at last night's (June 6, 2015) UFC Fight Night 68 event from inside Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana (highlights), Ben Ro read news >>

After first-round KO win, 44-year-old Dan Henderson has no plans for retirement

  • 24 days ago
  • 3 views

Saturday night would have been a perfect night for Dan Henderson to call it a career. After a rough stretch to the tune of five losses in six fights, the MMA legend flattened Tim Boetsch in just 28 s read news >>

UFC New Orleans Results: Dan Henderson Finishes Tim Boetsch in 28 Seconds

  • 25 days ago
  • 24 views

Dan Henderson picked up a first-round finish with a mauling of Tim Boetsch in the main event at UFC New Orleans on Saturday. read news >>

UFC New Orleans Results: Dustin Poirier Finishes Yancy Medeiros

  • 25 days ago
  • 3 views

Dustin Poirier earned a first-round knockout of Yancy Medeiros on the main card at UFC Fight Night New Orleans on Saturday. read news >>

GLORY 22 results: Zack Mwekassa flattens Carlos Brooks with left hook for first-round KO

  • 26 days ago
  • 31 views

"The Black Warrior" put another opponent on his knockout list at GLORY 22 on Friday, finishing off Carlos Brooks with a brutal fight-ending left hook in the opening round. When Zack Mwekassa fights y read news >>

VIDEO: Alexander Gustafsson Talks Title Fight Against Daniel Cormier

  • 26 days ago
  • 48 views

After suffering the biggest loss of his career, Alexander 'The Mauler' Gustafsson discusses his comeback and details how he plans to prepare for his second shot at the world title. read news >>

Luke Rockhold: 'Weidman and and I both have alpha male complexes'

  • 27 days ago
  • 154 views

#1 ranked middleweight contender Luke Rockhold discusses his future opponent, Chris Weidman. It was announced yesterday that surging middleweight contender Luke Rockhold will challenge Chris Weidman read news >>

HW Prospects Johnson and Rosholt Meet in August

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Fresh from an impressive first-round TKO of Shamil Abdurakhimov in his UFC debut in April, North Dakota's Tim Johnson will return to the Octagon on August 8 when he faces fellow heavyweight read news >>