UFC middleweight Demian Maia engaged in one of the more bizarre fights so far of 2010 when he took on UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in April at UFC 112. Silva embarassed Maia for three rounds before laying back, cutting off all offense and opening the door for Maia to mount attacks of his own. Silva came closer to losing his UFC title this past weekend at UFC 117 than he ever has and to an opponent whom Maia had previously defeated handily, Chael Sonnen. Maia spoke with Fighters Only magazine recently and revealed that he believed Sonnen had a solid chance to win and also discussed his own bout with Silva, what he would do differently and whether or not he has any ill-will toward Silva.
“I told everyone before it happened there was a big chance that’s how it would go,” Maia said. “Chael is one of the toughest guys, he puts everyone down, I knew it could happen. I respect Chael a lot, he’s very tough. He was working all the time in that fight, fought really hard and I respect him a lot for that.”
As for what he will do differently should he ever earn a rematch with Silva, Maia said simply that he will turn up the aggression and stay in “The Spider’s” face.
“I respected him too much,” Maia said of the mistakes he made at UFC 112. “Today I wouldn’t do that. I was waiting for him to come. My strategy for the fight was to sit back and wait for him, but he didn’t come. I didn’t know what to do when he didn’t. At the end of the 3rd round I decided I’d attack more when I realized he wasn’t coming. Then I started doing better. If I could have done that before, it would have been a much better fight. I would be more aggressive today. Sometimes if you stick too much to the strategy, it can not work. You should be a little bit more flexible with it.”
Silva went out of his way to embarrass Maia in front of thousands of people and, although he may not agree with Silva’s antics, Maia is not wasting any time or energy being angry about them.
“I don’t get emotional about those kinds of things,” he said. “I just want to be champion.”
Maia was scheduled to take on Alan Belcher in the main event of a September UFC Fight Night but, after Belcher was forced to drop out with a detached retina, has been moved to the August 28 UFC 118 card where he will take on replacement opponent Mario Miranda. Maia is confident in his chances to defeat Miranda and sees the bout as just one more step on his road back to a title shot.
“I think Chael deserves a rematch with Anderson Silva first,” said Maia. “After that, you never know. I’ll keep going, keep fighting, keep winning and when I get a chance for the title, I’ll be a better fighter.”
UFC 118 will go down on August 28th at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts and will be headlined by the lightweight title fight rematch between Champion Frankie Edgar and former champ BJ Penn and will also feature a bout between champion boxer James “Lights Out” Toney and MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture.