Demian Maia knows just how dangerous both Chael Sonnen and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva are inside the Octagon, as the submission specialist owns a victory over Sonnen and a loss against Silva.
This past weekend at UFC 136, the submission savvy Brazilian even shared a locker room area with Sonnen. Maia defeated Jorge Santiago, while Sonnen stopped Brian Stann. After his win over Stann, Sonnen called out Silva for a rematch, something even Maia is interested in as he works his way back to being a top contender at 185 pounds.
Some may wonder how a fighter like Maia can handle preparing for a fight in the same area as Sonnen, but, according to Maia himself, it didn’t have any affect on him.
“I met him many times before, and it wasn’t any different, he was respectful,” said Maia, in an interview with Tatame. “I have no troubles with him. Each one of us was warming up, with our minds on our bouts.”
Maia had Santiago in full control, taking a decision on all three scorecards to get back on track after a loss to Mark Munoz< in June at UFC 131. Maia is now 3-1 in his last four fights since falling to Silva by decision. He also holds a 2009 win over Sonnen where he submitted him midway through the bout’s opening round using a Triangle Choke.
Sonnen-Silva II has not been scheduled, but most feel like it is only a matter of time before the UFC books it for a card in 2012. Silva is currently rehabbing a shoulder injury, and Sonnen isn’t licensed to fight in Nevada, so those are two obstacles needing clearance before the bout can be signed.
“I guess Anderson would be harder to submit on the ground than Stann, because Anderson trains with experts, but Chael doesn’t depend on the submission – he can work on the ground and pound,” said Maia, of a potential rematch. “He’ll be training his takedown defense so he doesn’t get in trouble like it happened to him before.”
As for his own future, Maia says he will take some time off before stepping back inside the Octagon.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC