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

After scrapped UFC 205 bout, Donald Cerrone says Demian Maia 'only fight that makes sense'

  • 29 days ago
  • 18 views

NEW YORK – Donald Cerrone is upset, not surprisingly, after his UFC 205 bout with Kelvin Gastelum was scrapped just one day prior to the eventFiled under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC 205 results: Tim Boetsch lays out New York-based Rafael Natal with brutal first-round TKO

  • 27 days ago
  • 14 views

NEW YORK – Tim Boetsch used his sneaky but strong right hand to draw first blood on Rafael Natal in the opening moments of their bout.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Vicente Luque Drops the Hammer, Scoring Brutal KO! (UFC 205 Fight Highlights) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 8 views

Check out Vicente Luque's brutal first-round knockout victory over Belal Muhammad in this UFC 205 Fight Highlights video. read news >>

Kamaru Usman believes he's best grappler in division, wants Demian Maia next to prove it

  • 22 days ago
  • 7 views

SAO PAULO – “The Ultimate Fighter 21” winner Kamaru Usman believes he’s the best grappler in the UFC’s welterweight division, and he wants the chance to prove it against the man many consider to be t read news >>

"Honest" Mousasi on fire & ready to avenge loss to Hall

  • 22 days ago
  • 0 views

Gegard Mousasi discusses his recent decisions to speak out more in the media and his plan of taking out Uriah Hall in the main event at Fight Night Belfast. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 99 results: Amanda Cooper rallies to decision Anna Elmose

  • 21 days ago
  • 10 views

BELFAST, Northern Ireland – Amanda Cooper rebounded from a first-round knockdown at the hands of Anna Elmose to battle back for the win in the final two frames.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Kamaru Usman thinks he can take Demian Maia out in the first round: 'My style would trump his style'

  • 20 days ago
  • 13 views

SAO PAULO – After a dominant display over Brazilian prospect Warlley Alves at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 100, Kamaru Usman is confident he can beat grappling ace Demian Maia: “I know that I can get h read news >>

Video: Watch UFC Fight Night 101's Derek Brunson smash Roan Carneiro as part of run of first-round knockouts

  • 18 days ago
  • 11 views

Derek Brunson has been on an absolute tear. With five straight wins, and seven of eight in the UFC, he’s on the verge of title contention.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC Fight Night 101 pre-fight facts: Derek Brunson can make history with another first-round KO

  • 17 days ago
  • 7 views

The UFC’s seven-week stretch of live events continues on Saturday when UFC Fight Night 101 takes place at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, with an FS1-televised fight card that follows early read news >>

Demian Maia talks Robbie Lawler offer, title-shot hopes and desired Anderson Silva rematch

  • 15 days ago
  • 24 views

SAO PAULO – Demian Maia was sitting cageside when UFC 205’s co-headliner between champ Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson was, much to his dismay, declared a draw. He’s now analyzing his options.File read news >>