UFC welterweight Demian Maia is 3-0 since moving down from 185 pounds including impressive outings against Jon Fitch and most recently Rick Story. Though Maia’s success in the division thus far has fans talking future title-shots, the brilliant BJJer isn’t concerned about competing for the championship so much as simply earning a win in his next outing.
On that front, Maia is scheduled to clash with Josh Koscheck (17-7) August at UFC 163. With Koscheck’s back-to-back losses, the match-up may not necessarily be one for contendership but, in Maia’s eyes, it’s equally essential to his run towards the top.
“I think he’s a great fighter, and he’ll be a great test for me. I think if I want to fight Georges St-Pierre or Johny Hendricks – whoever is champion after they fight – both of them are great wrestlers, so I need to pass this test. I mean, I’ve fought good wrestlers like Rick Story and Jon Fitch and Dong Hyun Kim, a judo guy, but Koscheck was a really top-level wrestler,” explained Maia to MMAJunkie of the challenge in front of him. “I was training at an academy in Chicago, and they had pictures on the walls of wrestlers in the newspaper, and one of those pictures was Josh. He’s a top-level guy. As a fighter, I see this as a very big test, and I need to pass this test.”
Maia went on to clarify his stance, saying he certainly WANTS to wear welterweight gold at some point down the road but can’t think further ahead than the task in front of him.
“Since I dropped, I would be a liar if I didn’t say I was thinking about Georges and the belt. But now, I’m just thinking about Koscheck. I can’t think about the title just yet. Normally, I’m quiet, but sometimes you need to ask so the fans know. Many fans might see you win but don’t remember that you have three other wins before, so sometimes you need to remind them,” concluded Maia. “Before the fight, I can’t say too much, plus I think it’s very bad luck if you start talking about title shots. First, I have a pretty tough opponent, so the main thing is to win this fight right now.”
The 18-4 Maia has submitted nine of the opponents he’s beaten. Of course, tapping out Koscheck could prove to be difficult, as the Ultimate Fighter alumnus has only been subbed a single time and the loss came nearly eight years ago.