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Demian Maia: “If you think like a white belt, you can keep getting better.”

While Demian Maia may be primarily known for his elite-level submission skills there’s no question the 34-year old grappler has shown marked improvement as a striker in his last few fights, the most recent of which involved a decision win over Jorge Santiago at UFC 136.

Maia credits his mindset and love of boxing with the evolution in his game, an increasingly balanced attack he hopes to display against Chris Weidman on Saturday night at UFC on FOX 2. The 15-3 BJJ blackbelt discussed the situation where he explained he often removes ego from the equation and embraces challenges head on.

“For me, it’s not hard because I love what I do and I love to fight,” revealed Maia in a conversation with the UFC’s website. “I love boxing also, and not just jiu-jitsu, so whenever you do something that you love, it’s never hard work. Of course the training and everything is tough, but what I do I like very much and when you’re like that I think you develop very well.”

The Brazilian feels his attitude towards striking is one some of his peers could benefit from as well.

“I see some guys that are standup fighters and they’ve been doing jiu-jitsu for many years and they’re still not so good, and there are some jiu-jitsu guys that do standup for many years and they’re not so good, and the key is that they don’t like the other style,” said Maia. “Sometimes they don’t like to train other styles and sometimes they don’t like to go from being the best at what they do to learning something else and there’s an ego involved there. If you think like a white belt, you can keep getting better. And when I decide to do something, I know that I will do it hard and I will get it.”

See how his humility pays off this weekend when he meets Weidman in the opener of the 8:00 PM EST broadcast on FOX.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

6 COMMENTS
  • We’ll see…Demian has improved his striking alot but its still not high level technical striking. I do like his attitude though, the guy has been constantly improving since Nate backflipped him.

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  • Guthookd says:

    I credit Anderson Silva’s firm spanking of Maia’s ass for his improved striking.

    He was made to look like an amateur. Much respect to him though, for taking it in stride and learning instead of heading out (like Brock and so many others who’ve found that a one sided fighter can get a one sided beatdown). I hope he does well.

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  • MCM says:

    Guthookd- I was gonna say the opposite. I think it was Maia’s success in his striking in the final rounds of his Silva fight, that made him think he should add it to his arsenal. Either way, I’m glad he’s improving his skill set and isn’t afraid to learn new arts.

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  • Guthookd says:

    You’re a more knowledgeable MMA fan than I, MC, but success could be an overstatement, though your point is well taken.

    He charged several times with wild striking and still wasn’t knocked out; that may have served as some motivation to ratchet up his stand up training. I know at the time we all said, shit, if he’d only done that starting in the second he may have won…..really though, if he started that shit anytime sooner he probably would have lost via KO instead of decision.

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  • Had he got up and attacked Silva after that horrific flying knee he’d’ve been done.

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  • MCM says:

    “He charged several times with wild striking and still wasn’t knocked out…”

    That is precisely the definition of success I was referring to. ;)

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