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

UFC 207's Dong Hyun Kim still calling out Demian Maia, hopes to steal title shot

  • 18 days ago
  • 12 views

LAS VEGAS – For a guy whose last three fights were marred by opponent changes and withdrawals, a short-notice booking with oft-injured opponent would be cause for concern.Filed under: Featured Videos read news >>

Brandon Thatch discusses losing skid and chance to rebound at UFC 207

  • 21 days ago
  • 10 views

DENVER – When Brandon Thatch had his 10-fight winning streak snapped by Benson Henderson in a “Fight of the Night” winner nearly two years ago, there was little shame. Filed under: Featured, News, UF read news >>

Classy Demian Maia has – of course – a classy response to UFC 209's welterweight title fight

  • 5 days ago
  • 234 views

With his long-awaited title shot once again postponed, welterweight contender and notorious class act Demian Maia reacted to UFC 209’s championship booking with what looks like an incredibly polite T read news >>

Holly Holm Ready to 'Make a Statement Again' at UFC 208 (Video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 24 days ago
  • 15 views

After UFC on FOX 22, Holly Holm discusses how her women’s featherweight title fight with Germaine de Randamie came together and her thoughts on Cris Cyborg. read news >>

The UFC's Entry Into the Russian Market Moves a Step Closer | FIGHTLAND

  • 25 days ago
  • 0 views

Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC Russian MMA has never produced so many top-quality fighters as they are now, with the republic states of Dagestan and Chechnya in the North Caucasus—positioned at the so read news >>

UFC 207 Primer: Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum Head-to-Toe Breakdown

  • 24 days ago
  • 19 views

Back in June of 2015, Fabricio Werdum squared off against Cain Velasquez in Mexico City for the undisputed heavyweight title. Now the pair are set to square off again, this time as part of the UFC 20 read news >>

For UFC fighters like Carla Esparza, life is just as tough outside the octagon

  • 24 days ago
  • 18 views

IRVINE, Calif. – Ronda Rousey and Carla Esparza have plenty in common. Both broke new ground as the UFC's inaugural divisional champ, Rousey at bantamweight, Esparza at strawweight. Both lost their t read news >>

Dana White: Conor McGregor could face Khabib Nurmagomedov in first lightweight title defense

  • 24 days ago
  • 59 views

With UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor set to take some time away from the octagon to begin 2017, there hasn’t been much talk of who he could fight next following his title-winning knockout of read news >>

UFC 207's Cody Garbrandt has been thinking about a fight with Dominick Cruz since he was a kid

  • 24 days ago
  • 21 views

The way Cody Garbrandt is looking at his title shot next week against Dominick Cruz, he’s fulfilling a destiny.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Is Conor McGregor the UFC's Top Pound-for-Pound Fighter? | MMAWeekly.com

  • 24 days ago
  • 21 views

Dana White recently said that Conor McGregor is the top pound-for-pound fighter. Do you agree? read news >>