“Demian Maia’s welterweight debut in the UFC, this Saturday, at UFC 148, was a big one. The Brazilian defeated South Korean Dong Hyun Kim, via TKO, as he took his opponent down, breaking his rib in less than a minute of bout.
On an interview with TATAME, the Jiu-Jitsu black belt affirmed he would submit his opponent, going back to his roots.
“The trainings were really tough. I was really training for that. Unfortunately, he got injured. If he hasn’t got hurt I’d go for his back. I guess I’d be able to submit him”.
How important that you trained Jiu-Jitsu again?
You know, I kinda focused at Grappling and that’s why I tried to go for the clinch on the beginning. I tried to go for his backs and he didn’t want to go to the floor. I went for his back like I did on practice. I took him down and my plan was to get to his back and choke him. I guess I squeezed him so hard I broke his rib.
There were many legends on the walk-out with you, like Leonardo Vieira. How much did you train Jiu-Jitsu for this fight?
A lot. Mainly with Leonardo. Wagner was my coach, but Leonardo was my coach in 1998, 1999. We used to live together, we were roommates who lived at the gym. He was the best man at my wedding and I brought him to train with me again. He’s phenomenal, he won many times in Jiu-Jitsu and at ADCC. It’s amazing. He was very important to me and also his support.
Are you cool knowing you own the best Jiu-Jitsu skills in the division?
Yes, but there’re also great wrestlers and wrestlers know how to block Jiu-Jitsu, like my opponent today, who was a great Judo guy. He had good defenses. It’s not easy, but I feel much stronger in this division.”