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Demian Maia Talks Marquardt, Silva, and Giving Fans the Submission Finishes They Paid to See

(Yep, that’s about where most of those guys who said they were going to keep it standing usually end up.)

When I spoke to Demian Maia for an feature on his fight with Nate Marquardt at UFC 102 this weekend, he seemed resigned to the knowledge that everyone, including his opponent, knows exactly what he wants to do when he steps in the Octagon.  He also doesn’t really care, why should he?  It’s worked perfectly so far, and if he can extend his record to a perfect 11-0 in Portland, Oregon on Saturday night, he just might earn himself a title shot.  At least, he thinks so.

We haven’t seen you in the Octagon since your victory over Chael Sonnen back in February.  How has your training progressed since then and how has the preparation for this bout gone?

Training was perfect.  Can’t be better.  I’m working with the same guys I always work with.  Wanderlei Silva, my boxing coach, my wrestling coach, and all the guys who support me and help me for every fight.

Do you think Nate Marquardt will try to avoid going to the ground with you at all costs, or do you think he believes in his ground game enough to match up with you there?

I think he probably believes in his ground game because he’s a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  It’s not easy for me to get to the ground.  People try to avoid that with me always.  But I’m a much better fighter than I was six months ago when I fought the last time.  When I prepare for a fight, I prepare in all fields.

In what way are you a better fighter?

I’ve had a lot of time to develop my technique and add some new things to my game, working on everything, not just jiu-jitsu.  I’ve been trying to become a better fighter for six months.  I think I have changed since then.

What do you think you have to be careful of against Marquardt?

He doesn’t have one thing that he is the best at, but he’s good at everything.  He’s a well-balanced fighter.  There’s nothing that he does better than everybody, but there’s nothing he’s not good at either.

Do you think the winner of this fight deserves an immediate title shot against Anderson Silva?

Yeah, I’m sure.  I’m sure that who wins here deserves that.

He doesn’t seem that interested in it.  His manager suggested that the winner fight Dan Henderson first to see who gets to face Silva.

Yeah, but he’s the middleweight champion.  It’s not his choice.  If he wants to keep his title, he needs to defend it against whoever the UFC says.  That’s his job.

Do you think you would present a new challenge for him that we haven’t seen before?

Yeah, I’m sure I would.  I’m sure about that.  It’s a clash of styles.  If I win this fight, especially if I submit Nate, I think I will be the guy who most represents the grappling game in the UFC.  Anderson, I think, is the best striker right now.  It’s interesting for the fans to see this challenge.

Do you think people consider you to be a one-dimensional fighter?

I think so.  When you do that like I did, winning almost all my fights by submission, when you get in the Octagon they are waiting for that.  They expect it the submission.

Does that bother you?

No, no.  The public deserves the best show.  They are paying for that.  They give our salary by watching and buying stuff.  So I should train to do the best I can and give them that, since this is what they want from me and what they are paying for.


Cagepotato Comments

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Jubbie- August 27, 2009 at 7:06 pm
I would normally agree that Maia should dominate with his grappling but he just looks so skinny for a middleweight. Nate will probably overpower him. If he burns out, the advantage shifts back to Maia. I don't really see him testing Maia on the ground though.
Keyser Soze- August 27, 2009 at 7:02 pm
I think strength and striking will be a far bigger factor in this matchup than Maia is prepared for. I believe Nate is an intelligent fighter and fairly well rounded... I can't foresee him just rolling over and letting Maia utilize his ju jitsu skills.

I will admit Maia's submission skills are excellent, but that being said, I don't think it will be enough to pull out the victory. Nate's a solid top four MW, and I think he'll take the win.

As for the winner getting a title shot... I think of the two, Nate would still have a better chance at toppling Silva. Maia's sure as hell not going to outstrike Silva, and Silva would pepper him senseless if he went for the takedown.
Dr.- August 27, 2009 at 5:50 pm
Ed Soares is a piece of shit. Hate every time that smug asshole opens his mouth. Dude, where's my car outfit-much?
virpz- August 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm
Same here

Affliction Trilogy advertisement video while I was watching Fedor's video.
Barc- August 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm
I'm gonna go ahead and throw in my penny for Maia, sub rd. 2. Marquardts good enough to pull this off; but, only if Maia makes a big mistake. Maia's one dimension seems to be all dimensions except for striking. He's outwrestled high class wrestlers, and He's submitted talented submission experts. He's not gonna be knocking Silva out anytime soon; but, it's like my freind Meatloaf said: ? "two out of three aint bad." ?
ReDx- August 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm
I don't think Maia/Silva would be like the Leites fight. Maia already said that he'd rather get knocked out then fight that way.

I don't see Maia getting past Nate though, at least I hope not, my money is already placed on Nate.
Johnny B- August 27, 2009 at 1:19 pm
Nate is a tough bastard and he has a good shot, but we have no reason to discount Maia's submission ability. He has handled everyone so easily that I can not doubt him until I have a reason to.

Maia by sub round 1.
ihateemo- August 27, 2009 at 12:30 pm
Honestly, I don't care who wins this one so long as they end the fight and don't take it to a decision.

"It’s not his choice. If he wants to keep his title, he needs to defend it against whoever the UFC says. That's his job."

Right on, Demian! Ed Soares is really pushing hard for Silva to take more "interesting" fights rather than defend against lesser known middleweight contenders. Which I'm sympathetic to, but if he wants to stay up at 205 for the big marquee fights then he should give up the belt and let the mutts at 185 fight a tournament for it.
Craigger12- August 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm
I think this is a bad match up for Maia. I just don't see him being able to get the fight to the ground very easily and keeping there. I think this loss is what Maia will need to take the rest of his game up a couple notches, forcing him to becoming a better striker. His BJJ game is wicked don't get me wrong, just not seeing him well rounded enough.
CJ- August 27, 2009 at 12:06 pm
anyone making comparisons between maia and leites is a fucking idiot. maia is on a whole different level from leites and it's very obvious.

if marqhardt goes for g&p he will be subbed, i guarantee it. the only chance he has is to try to keep distance and pick maia apart. he's too strong and aggressive to try to do that, so he'll definitely get too close and get subbed.
Ouch That hurts- August 27, 2009 at 11:48 am
Maia takes it in the 2nd round with something we've never seen before that will from that day forward be known as the "Maia-Choke"
Peppermint Nightmare- August 27, 2009 at 11:31 am
Maia via RNC round ONE.
Jay Smith- August 27, 2009 at 10:46 am
@ Stinkydeelux
Yeah, but even Mir said that he was surprised that Crock Lesner didn't just put his foot on Mirs ass, and push him away. He had the position to do it. Powering through submissions is a way for "stronger" more muscular fighters to escape some subs. Rampage and Matt Hughs were both caught in tight triangles before they scooped up their "captors" and slammed them to the ground to win the fight by "where the hell am I".
HugePenisLarry- August 27, 2009 at 10:31 am
I think Cracked said it best when they were talking about a fight that happened at UFC 2 or 3. They said back then the ground game was called the "Get off the mat and do some karate you queer" position. Yet now the RNC and armbar and moves that cause explosive ovations. I'm glad we finally learned.
825IVER- August 27, 2009 at 10:17 am
Nate by 10 hit combo.
Stinkydeelux- August 27, 2009 at 9:59 am
I think "powering through submissions" is a semi-ridiculous way to expect to avoid a high-level BJJ expert's attacks. Technique wins over muscle when it comes to a knee bar (see Brock/Mir I, easily the most powerful fighter in MMA right now), arm bar (note Razak al-Hassan strong muscle don't stop elbows from going sideways so well) or rear naked choke (BJ Penn is not stronger than Joe Stevenson, I'm sure.) Just saying, muscle and power is not the important thing with avoiding submissions.
clutchy hopkins- August 27, 2009 at 9:52 am
i would be putting the money on marquardt, but i think it would be just as interesting to see maia fight silva as henderson or marquardt fighting him again. its all good
Fedor vs. Bas- August 27, 2009 at 9:44 am
Yea whats with the Affliction Trilogy ad? I loved the countdown
Fedor vs. Bas- August 27, 2009 at 9:43 am
I feel like Maia vs Silva would be like the Silva fight against Thales Leites all over again. Who wants to see a guy fall to his back and try to drag Silva down?
NECROPHYTE- August 27, 2009 at 9:40 am
Maia by knee bar 2nd rnd.
Art Gibs- August 27, 2009 at 9:33 am
Whatever the outcome, this could be a great fight.

By the way, is anyone else seeing an Affliction Trilogy advertisement on this site? Hilarious...
831 Son- August 27, 2009 at 9:27 am
I see Marquardt winning also. And even if Maia did win he would get KO'd by Silva.
BigCountrysCholesterol- August 27, 2009 at 9:26 am
I love the evolution of the public's appreciation of the ground game. I remember back in the day – as soon as a fight hit the mat, everyone in the room would groan and talk about how much we all would prefer to watch Tank Abbott because he was a real fighter. Whatever that meant. We were such nincompoops. Now I can't get enough. I say more cowbell, and more of Maia's ground game!
Jay K.- August 27, 2009 at 9:19 am
Somehow, even with a win I don't see the UFC giving Maia a crack at Silva after the last BJJ guy ruined it for everyone.
Forrest44- August 27, 2009 at 9:17 am
Call me crazy but I'm taking Nate in the 2nd round by stoppage/TKO. I think Marquardt can keep it standing and thrash Maia. In the event that the fight goes to the ground (which it probably will) Nate will power through the sub. attempts and serve up some mean G&P. I have a feeling that Damien is gonna get taste his first defeat this weekend.