Demian Maia hoping for Jon Fitch or Nick Diaz as next opponent

Submission-specialist Demian Maia’s decision to drop down to welterweight after a respectable run at 185 pounds has proven to be the right move thus far with wins in both of his appearances since the switch. Likewise, neither victory came against a less-than reputable opponent, as Maia beat Dong Hyun Kim in his 170-pound debut and most recently took out Rick Story this past weekend at UFC 153.

For his next fight, Maia wants to up the stakes again by testing his skills against a “Top 5” foe in the form of either Jon Fitch or Nick Diaz.

Other than their divisional rank, the 17-4 Brazilian explained the popularity both possess played into his decision to mention them specifically, implying his focus was clearly set on a title-fight at some point in 2013. He then went on to give Diaz credit for his boxing and Fitch for his wrestling, as well as praised both men for their competence in BJJ.

“I have to see what the UFC has to offer as well. In the end, they decide. As I have nothing personal against any opponent, (my goal) is to have a good fight, put on a good event, maybe a main event or co-main event to begin to emerge as a contender,” said Maia in the conversation with TATAME.

Fitch also fought at UFC 153 where he outpointed Erick Silva and escaped the evening without injury, making him for a strong possibility as far as Maia’s next match-up goes, while Diaz is serving out a suspension until February and won’t be ready before then.

Maia is 11-4 inside the Octagon including past wins over the likes of Ed Herman, Kendall Grove, Jorge Santiago, Dan Miller, and Chael Sonnen.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

4 COMMENTS
  • Respect to maia for wanting to step up. He’s biting off more than he can chew either way IMO

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  • raker says:

    I’d really like to see him fight either of those two. Diaz might be the tougher of the two for Maia just because of his stand up game but either would be a great measuring stick to see where he stacks up in the division. The grappling battle with either Fitch or Diaz could be great if it does get to the ground.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    As long as Maia doesn’t all of a sudden decide to forget that he’s amazing on the ground and try to stand the entire fight, either one could be good, but I think I’d rather see him vs Fitch

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  • raker says:

    It’d be interesting to see how Fitch would do considering that Maia submitted the recently
    announced challenger for the LHW belt. Fitch does have a better BJJ game than Sonnen but id find it hard to believe that he is as strong. Maia seems to be fighting to his strengths a lot more now that he’s at WW, although he really didn’t have a chance to get to the ground during the Marquardt or Silva fights. Jason MacDonald did great on the ground vs. Maia and of course we know that striking can turn a BJJ black belt into a purple belt pretty quick. Diaz has great BJJ and I’d like to see how this could affect Maia. I really hope they match him up with either of these two.

    On another note, the WW division that GSP was close to clearing out has some great fighters and contenders emerging. The WW, LW and HW divisions have been pretty limited when it comes to progressing and defending the title, the LW division because of rematches, and it will be great to get em going again.

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