Following his embarrassing loss to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in April of last year, Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia has rattled off two consecutive victories in the octagon — unanimous decisions over Mario Miranda and Kendall Grove — and will look to get a third this weekend when he faces off against the fast-rising Mark Munõz at UFC 131.
A former NCAA Division-1 wrestler, Munõz has also shown improvement by leaps and bounds in his stand up game. Despite that, Maia recently told MMAJunkie that he believes his bout with Mun˜oz will showcase their grappling roots and will take place primarily on the mat.
“I think it will be a grappling fight,” Maia said. “I don’t know what he’s preparing for from me, but I think we’re both grapplers, so at the end of the day, we’re going to grapple.”
Muñoz starched CB Dollaway in his most recent appearance and Maia acknowledges that his opponent’s stand up is improving, but he doesn’t see that factor much coming into play this Saturday night.
“He knocked out his last opponent, and he’s knocked out guys before,” Maia said. “He’s getting confident in his standup and the power of his hands. Maybe he will try. When I see pure wrestler fight, they train a lot of boxing. They don’t want to be on bottom. I don’t have this issue. I know he’s very powerful when he’s on top, but I’m OK with that. I think it’s not going to be a standup fight.”
Maia and Muñoz will meet in the cage this Saturday night at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia on the main card of UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin.