Demian Maia knows what it feels like to be standing across the Octagon from a UFC champion. While competing at middleweight, Maia earned a shot at Anderson Silva and the UFC title.
Now, following a pair of victories at welterweight, Maia (17-4) will look to move another step closer to a second title fight when he meets Jon Fitch Saturday at UFC 156.
Fitch (24-4), who once fought Georges St-Pierre for the UFC 170-pound title, knows that Maia will be doing his best to try and submit him. And Maia wants to make sure Fitch knows that is the plan, as well.
“My dream is to take the fight down in the first minute and submit Fitch,” said Maia, in a recent interview with ESPN. “That’s my dream and I hope it comes true.”
Maia added that he feels “reborn” since moving to 170 pounds, saying, “in this weight division, it’s more fair for me. I felt when I was hitting guys or going for a takedown at 185, sometimes it was like hitting a wall.”
Fitch has tapped just once in his 28-fight MMA career, a loss to Mike Pyle back in 2002.