Former UFC middleweight title challenger Demian Maia recently bounced back from his embarrassing UFC 112 title fight against champion Anderson Silva by defeating one of Silva’s pupils via unanimous decision this past weekend at UFC 118. Maia dominated his opponent and, though he was unable to finish his fellow Brazilian via his vaunted ground game, was in control for most every moment of the fight. Maia spoke with Brazilian MMA news source Tatame.com and revealed that the presence of Silva, who toyed with him in their UFC 112 meeting, in Miranda’s corner was a big motivating factor for him to win.
“Of course it did,” Maia said when asked if Silva cornering Miranda motivated him to perform well. “I was glad when I knew he’d be on his corner because I knew it’d motivate me even more. With all due respect to Mário, but I was glad when I heard that Anderson would be on his corner because I knew I’d motivate me even more.”
Maia is certainly a top-tier middleweight fighter but is under no illusions that he is close to getting another crack at the title, citing UFC President Dana White’s post-fight comments and the current line of middleweight contenders as reasons for his belief.
“Man, on the press conference what Dana said, when he was asked about what he thinks [would] be the next step for me, that he still doesn’t know because the division is too busy,” said Maia. “There’s Anderson’s fight with Chael (Sonnen), there’s Vitor (Belfort) who should get a title fight, there’re lots of athletes that are on the front line, so it’s one of the busiest divisions now.”
Maia is currently 2-2 in his last four fights, staggering losses to Nate Marquardt and Silva with victories over Dan Miller and Mario Miranda. His overall record as a professional mixed martial artist is 13-2.
UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn II went down on August 28th at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.