Former number one UFC middleweight contender Demian Maia will take on The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Kendall Grove this weekend on the main card of The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale. Maia will be looking to build on the momentum he generated by defeating a very tough Mario Miranda this past August at UFC 118 when he and Grove meet this Saturday night. Speaking with MMAHQ recently, Maia explained that he is fully ready and focused to defeat the 6’6″ Hawaiian.
Maia looks at Grove, who specifically asked to fight Maia, as “a good opponent with well-rounded MMA game.” The Brazilian Jiu-jitsu expert has been training specifically for Grove, which entails bringing in sparring partners of roughly the same dimensions as the spindly 28-year old.
“I trained with some guys with his height and length,” Maia said. ”You never know until you get in there. I did my homework and I got to spar with some guys his size and will be ready.”
Maia did not pretend to know what Grove has planned for Saturday night, but guessed that “Da Spyder” will likely not be looking to play the guard game with a grappler of his caliber.
“I don’t really know his game plan,” he said. “I think he’ll try to avoid to fight from the bottom. If he takes me down, he’ll try to ground and pound and submit. He has good BJJ and I don’t think he’ll be afraid to go on the ground.”
While Grove asked for Maia so that he could build his stock in the division to open up the door for bigger fights, Maia is only looking at facing Grove–anything beyond that may as well not exist.
“I’m completely focused on Grove, and even after that, I don’t want to think about when or who I fight,” Maia said. “I want to fight as hard as (I) can on Saturday.”
The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale goes down this Saturday at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.