The Sonnen Sinker, The Gallant Grappler, The Mat Maestro, MMA Jiu Jitsu Master, The Askren Asphyxiator, THE Demian Maia. The only human we've seen make pretzels out of people in the UFC, Demian Maia has decided on entering the octagon one final time after his defeat to Gilbert Burns. Maia looked sharp in an early ground exchange but a key escape by Burns led to an even more beautiful left hook to Maia's chin. And with that Maia's success was more than short-lived, it was erased from everyone's memory. And instead replaced with the question, is that it? Should that be it? Should the last one have been it?
A dream Matchup in the world of grappling, Maia's last fight and victory against Askren can be viewed as a beautiful summation of his career; he made great grapplers look mediocre and good grapplers look downright laughable. Say what you will about Askren the man or the UFC fighter but there is not much arguing when it comes to Askren the wrestler. Ben Askren compiled a record of 153-8 with 91 victories coming by pin placing him 3rd on the all-time NCAA's division 1 list. He didn't win a medal but reaching the Olympics is laudable and one more credential that makes Maias victory over him more impressive. It was an incredible victory and one that would have been the perfect bow on an already fantastic career. But it was also a third consecutive win and you can't fault Maia for feeling extremely confident and even more competitive.
Such is the plight of a fighter, when you're up you don't wanna stop but you can't stop when you're down because you remember what it's like to be up. And Demian Maia has been, still is and always will be a fighter.
Born November 6, 1977 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Demian Augusto Maia Baptista was exposed to martial arts at a very young age. Beginning with Judo at the age of 4 and ending around 6, he gravitated back to fighting as a teenager taking an interest in kungfu and Karate. But the journey that we are close to the end of began at 19 when Demian was introduced to Brazilian jiu-jitsu by his cousin. True to the grappler we know today, Maia achieved his black belt in 4 years while simultaneously gaining a degree in journalism. Demian Maia also comes from an extremely prestigious lineage of Jiu Jitsu that traces back to Mitsyuo Maeda whom I will highlight in another article, so that black belt is undoubtedly hard earned. Maia won 2nd in the CBJJ World championship in 1999 and from then on was a perennial winner or contender in CBJJ. We would get our first look at what Maia was truly capable of in 2005 at ADCC. There Maia would earn a silver in the 88kg division. Along the way he defeated Marko Helen, David Avellan and saulo Ribeiro before losing, respectably, to Jacare Souza. He would follow that up by winning the Pan American championship in 2006 in the middle heavy division. The next year at ADCC, Maia would take gold, defeating the likes of Yushin Okami, Rafael Lovato, Taris Humphreys, and finally Favio Almeida in the finals. The same year he won The Super Challenge, submitting two opponents and going to decision with Gustavo Machado in the semi finals. Demian Maia would go on to accumulate several championship for Team Brasa picking up notable victories over legends Jacare Souza and Gabriel Gonzaga.
Demian transitioned to MMA in the midst of his jiu-jitsu success, debuting in 2001 before signing with the UFC in 2007 at 6-0. And that's when Canvas Killer was born, rattling off 5 straight submissions capped off by the fantastic Sonnen triangle.
Unfortunately all of Maias momentum came to a literal crashing halt in his next fight when an ill-timed and poorly executed flying knee resulted in a highlight reel knockout that Maia was on the receiving end of. Nate Marquardt, a Middle weight division stalwart in the UFC and having already fought for the title was coming off two triumphant finishes over Martin Kampman and Wilson Gouveia. And fate would smile on Marquardt as he'd slam Maia to the floor with a perfectly timed right hand and move into a #1 contender fight against none other than Chael Sonnen, but that's another part of middleweight history.
Circumstances would have it that after one victory over a game Dan Miller, the first man in the UFC Maia beat without suffocating him, Demian would be rewarded with a title shot. And unfortunately the rest is fairly infamous history. In a night of bizarres, the UFC brought UFC 112 and two title fights to Abu Dhabi for the first time in the companies history. The first, BJ Penn vs Frankie Edgar produced the biggest upset we'd see until Holly Holm rocked Rhonda Rousey and the fight world with that headkick. But that fight would be followed by an incredibly strange, almost frustrating fight to watch as a visibly displeased Anderson Silva, then middleweight champion, toyed with what he deemed a completely unfit and unworthy opponent in Demian Maia. The fight turned so bad that it led to the never forgotten or delivered on promise of Dana owing the fans for that fight. Demian did not make the fight what it was but he did not make it better and this would be a low in his career being so close to the Marquardt loss only compounded that. He would fight 5 more times in the middleweight division before dropping to welterweight in 2012 against Dong Hyun Kim. 10 wins in his next 12 fights with wins over the likes of Carlos Condit, Jon Fitch, Gunnar Nelson and Jorge Masdival would put Maia in line for a title shot against then champion Tyron Woodley. Unfortunately a summation of Maias title fights could simply be put as he left a lot to be desired and both champions he fought did not give us anything we'd want to remember. He'd drop two more to former interim champion Colby Covington and current champion Kamaru Usman before going on his streak.
At this point, it's evident that Demian Maia will not win a title in the UFC, Old Man Maia still has some fight in him but he's not what he was. But what he is is a legend and a hall of famer and arguably the greatest BJJ MMA practitioner we have seen in the octagon. If the Burns fight is it that would be ok but the chance to see Demian Maia compete one more time just with the hope we might see something so incredible we forget about time and records and just celebrate the kind of fighter we got to enjoy in Demian Maia; well that is compelling enough to risk the same kind of outcome against Burns one more time. No matter what Demian Maia does next, what hes already done is unforgettable and incredible.
Last edited by SpeakEasy on Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
I know it's long boys but I'm gonna try and do more articles like these. Not gonna drum up any new members I imagine but maybe one or two of you will appreciate some original content from a linker. If you guys have any suggestions or ideas for a topic let me know and I'll dive into it. And most of all I appreciate any criticism, constructive or otherwise, on my writing style, tone and anything else I may need to improve on, I'm by no means a pro and don't claim to be one, and I appreciate yall. Thanks guys.
Accolades: Fantasy A-League Champion: Mar & Apr 2017, Dec 2018 Fantasy B-League Champion: Oct 2017, Jan/Feb 2020 Linker's First Tag Team Champion (with Bluntz) Survivor (x2) Pick-Em Champion: July 2019, Aug 2019, Feb 2020
Accolades: Fantasy A-League Champion: May 2017, July 2018, Jan/Feb/Mar 2019, Oct 2019, Dec 2019 Fantasy B-League Champion: June 2018 Survivor First Linker to Hold Two Gaming Commission Belts in the Modern Era
Accolades: Fantasy A-League Champion: Jan 2017, June 2017, Jan 2018, Feb 2018, Mar 2018, Apr 2019, May 2019, Nov 2019 Fantasy B-League Champion: Oct 2016, Aug 2018 Fantasy C-League Champion: Jan 2016 Highest Overall Fantasy Score 2019
Accolades: Fantasy A-League Champion: Nov 2015, Dec 2015, Jan, Apr 2016, May 2016, Nov 2016 Fantasy B-League Champion: Apr 2017, Feb, 2018, Nov 2018, Nov 2019 Highest Overall Fantasy Score 2016 Survivor (x3) First Linker to Successfully Defend Survivor Belt Pick-Em Champion: January 2020
warriorxv wrote:Way to many letters and words, way to little pictures. You know I don’t read, what’s this about, speak?
Sweaty Brazilian suffocating guys but not in the way I like.
I'm thinking of doing on covering MMA and combat sports in Vancouver. I might be able to get some quotes from some of the guys I used to train with at Revolution.
I owe frag big time on here and in the bkb site so my next one is going to be about upsets, will try and have it up tonight.
I seriously am considering starting a YouTube channel and I'll record these for anyone on here who might wanna listen or can't read. If I do that I'll do a daily or weekly video and do fight announcements and cancellations and will cover all combat sports. Timing is just off with covid so might focus on nostalgia and breaking down individual fighters till the assembly line is moving again. I don't know, love this site and don't wanna lose anymore members to anything but death so just trying to think of things to keep y'all interested and get more people also interested.
Edit: whooiooooooie I'm red belt, 10 years later in a red belt