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). 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

Phil Davis on Bellator, Emanuel Newton, and free thinkers

  • 20 days ago

Phil Davis calls his first-round opponent in Saturday's Bellator one-night light heavyweight tournament in San Jose, Emanuel Newton, a "free thinker." Sometimes Newton, the former Bellator 205-pound read news >>

RFA 30 Results and Highlights: Anthony Smith Crushes Brock Jardine

  • 20 days ago

Anthony Smith delivered a first-round TKO, while Adam Townsend and Ryan Roberts slugged it out over three rounds to cap off Friday night's RFA 30: Smith vs. Jardine. read news >>

Video: Fedor discusses return to MMA, ongoing negotiations and favourite Russian fighters

  • 21 days ago

Legendary Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko spoke to’s Luke Thomas about a wide variety of topics including his ongoing negotiations, his return to MMA, and his favourite Russian read news >>

Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Royce Gracie staredown

  • 21 days ago

SAN JOSE -- Legendary foes Kazushi Sakuraba and Royce Gracie posed for pictures for the media at Bellator Dynamite's media day and even engaged in a light-hearted staredown. read news >>

Scott Coker discusses Nick Diaz, fight fixing allegations, Kimbo Slice, Dynamite and more

  • 22 days ago

SAN JOSE -- Bellator President Scott Coker spoke to MMA Fighting on Thursday at the Dynamite media day about coming back to San Jose, the allegations about fight fixing in the Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Sha read news >>

Video: Roy Nelson discusses Nick Diaz suspension, says marijuana can help in camp

  • 22 days ago

LAS VEGAS – Next week the attention turns to UFC Fight Night 75 and Roy Nelson’s headliner with Josh Barnett. This week, though, the veteran heavyweight discussed the big topic: Nick Diaz’s recent su read news >>

'The Ultimate Fighter 22' blog: James Jenkins on episode No. 2

  • 22 days ago

In his weekly blog for MMAjunkie, “The Ultimate Fighter 22” cast member James Jenkins discusses the season’s second episode.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Rousimar Palhares and Caio Magalhaes NSAC hearings postponed until October 2015

  • 25 days ago

Rousimar Palhares and Caio Magalhaes will continue to ride the pine as their disciplinary hearings -- which were set to go down earlier today (Mon., Sept. 14, 2015) in front of Nevada State Athletic read news >>

Video: UFC 192 promo released for 'Cormier Vs. Gustafsson' event on October 3

  • 25 days ago

We're a few weeks away from UFC 192, which will feature a Light Heavyweight title fight between division king Daniel Cormier taking on the much larger Alexander Gustafsson, inside The Toyota Center o read news >>

Luke Rockhold talks Mayweather-Berto, MMA media & critical reception of flyweight fights

  • 27 days ago

UFC middleweight Number 1 contender, Luke Rockhold discusses the problem with lighter weight classes, his thoughts on MMA media, and his take on Mayweather's retirement bout. UFC middleweight Number read news >>