Brazilian Demian Maia will be looking to climb the UFC middleweight ladder and maybe get back a little national pride when he takes on Chael Sonnen next month at UFC 95.
Sonnen recently defeated Brazilian MMA prodigy Paulo Filho in a lopsided affair at UFC 36 after Filho came in seven pounds overweight.
“He fought Paulo Filho and everyone could see Paulo wasn’t well that day, going through personal problems,” Maia told Portaldaslutas.com. “He was professional and respected his contract, otherwise he wouldn’t even have fought. But Sonnen is someone to be respected, because Paulo, well or not, is a tough opponent.
Maia (9-0), who many, including Kenny Florian, believe has the best jiu-jitsu in all of MMA, believes that Sonnen will try to win the fight on points.
“I expect he will come in to win on strategy,” Maia told Portaldaslutas. “He will probably try to take the fight the whole three rounds and avoid the ground. That’s what I think. I don’t believe he will take many risks, I think he’ll try to win on points.
Sonnen holds a record of 21-9-1 and has looked very impressive since leaving the UFC in 2006.
UFC 95 takes place Feb. 17 at the 02 Arena in London, England and will be shown via tape delay in the U.S. via Spike TV.