Demian Maia is a highly decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and perhaps the best jiu-jitsu practictioner in the UFC’s welterweight division. Maia is 3-0 since dropping to the lighter weight division and is poised to make a another move towards a title shot at UFC 163 when he fights former number one contender Josh Koscheck. Maia is a jiu-jitsu fighter first and will look to use it to secure his win over Koscheck:
Maia is currently ranked No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA welterweight rankings. No. 5 Nick Diaz is in semiretirement while he waits on UFC officials to decide whether or not to meet his demands for a fight with either St-Pierre or Anderson Silva. The remaining five fighters ahead of Maia in the rankings all have bouts in the near future, so a big move for the Brazilian is certainly possible.
Maia doesn’t want to focus on the possibilities, instead keeping his mind completely on Koscheck. But the Brazilian knows his time may be coming, and he wants the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world to know he’ll be representing their interests as he continues to focus on the incredible grappling he displayed during his earliest days in MMA.
“It’s great to be representing Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the UFC,” Maia said. “When I go in the octagon to fight, I’m truly thinking like a Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter. I feel like I have the support of the community, so I feel like I’m fighting for something bigger than just going in there to be an athlete. I’m representing a martial art that has changed many people’s lives.”