Something about fighting Anderson Silva seems to bring out the crazy in some people. From Chris Leben’s stated goal of “roughnecking” him to James Irvin’s woefully misguided belief that all he needed to do was take two to give one, absurdly inadequate game plans have become a staple of any pre-fight hype when Silva is on the card. But God bless Demian Maia, he seems just a little more realistic about the whole thing.
Not only does he freely acknowledge that Silva is probably the most complete fighter in the world, he also knows that he only has one chance to win and it involves getting him to the mat and submitting him. It’s the first part of that equation that seems like it might be problematic, though.
Maia says he’s been working on his wrestling in the lead-up to this fight because, “I need to take Anderson down.” That kind of sober assessment of the situation is encouraging, though you can’t help but wonder how much his wrestling could have possibly improved in the two months since he found out that he was getting the title shot. He was able to get Chael Sonnen to the mat without much trouble, but will it be so simple to even get that close to Silva?
Oddsmakers sure don’t seem to think so. Maia is about a 5-1 underdog at the moment, with Silva going off at -800 on some online sportsbooks. Guess they haven’t heard that stuff about Silva being a man with weaknesses.