An interesting welterweight encounter will headline tonight’s UFC Fight Night 62 card, as Demian Maia meets Ryan LaFlare from Brazil.
Maia, a former No. 1 contender in the middleweight division, has has gone 4-2 since dropping down. Both of his losses came to highly-ranked foes in Rory MacDonald and Jake Shields.
LaFlare is a perfect 11-0 in his career, bu will be facing his stiffest challenge to date in Maia. He’s also been off for nearly a year due to injuries.
During a recent episode of “UFC Tonight,” analyst Daniel Cormier and Kenny Florian discussed the keys for each fighter.
“(Maia) can grapple, but he’s so much better with his stand-up now,” Cormier said. “Now, guys have to worry about what he does on his feet. He can take you down with a body-lock, use double-leg takedowns and use his hands to take you down.
“He’s the real deal. He’s fought for the title at middleweight. He can do it all.”
Florian said the keys for Maia are to “vary his attack. He’s got to land the takedown and he’s got to control the top position.”
As for LaFlare, Florian sees an “excellent wrestler” awaiting the Brazilian.
“It will be tough for Demian Maia to impose his will on Ryan,” Florian added. “According to his teammate, Rashad Evans, Ryan has made the biggest improvements in his training recently and is looking good.”
Cormier sees the pace as the key for LaFlare, saying “He has to change levels to secure takedowns. He’s always doing something to wear on his opponent. He needs to throw combinations and always be mixing it up. He has to stop the takedowns and keep it standing.”
FightLine will have complete main card coverage, including play-by-play, later this evening.