UFC Fight Night 62 really cleared up some questions that seem to have now been answered. Godofredo Castro is legitimate, Erik Silva is still dangerous, Josh Koscheck should probably retire, and Demian Maia is world class, but not a champion. The Maia statement may seem somewhat inflammatory considering his contributions to the sport, but it’s the truth.

Maia is a member of the old school, and has contributed so much to the sport of MMA. Whenever he fights you will undoubtedly hear the commentary team talking about his accolades in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His reputation isn’t a product of marketing, it’s grounded in past experience, but it’s been along time since we saw Maia submit some one. He is still one of the best grappler’s in the sport, but he hasn’t submitted anyone since UFC 153 when he slapped a neck crank on Rick Story.Even worse, that is the  only submission he has had since 2009 when he submitted Chael Sonnen.

Watching Maia compete against Ryan LaFlare at UFC FN 62 really highlighted a few things. He is still a legitimate fighter, but far from a contender. Many thought LaFlare was going to leave with his hand raised on Saturday night, and Maia silenced those doubters. Repeatedly, he took LaFlare down, transitioned all over him, and attempted submissions. He couldn’t complete a submission, but it was still impressive.

Then the fifth round came. Maia was visibly exhausted at the end of round four and the minute between rounds did nothing to restore the state of his cardio. Constantly dropping to the ground and taking his time to get up, it was apparent that he just wanted to get out of the fifth round and have his hand raised. It got so bad that in the final seconds of the round Big John (the ref) deducted a point for stalling. It was hard to watch.

The fact is Maia couldn’t put away a fighter that was barely in the top fifteen. He couldn’t even compete in the final round. Certainly Maia has some more fights in him, but it’s difficult to imagine him getting a win over anyone ranked above him. It’s even more challenging to imagine him winning in another main event. He is three years short of forty years old, and has had twenty six professional MMA fights. That doesn’t even factor in the miles he put on his body competing in Jiu-Jitsu. He has done a lot for the sport, but even with this win his stock may have fallen a bit. In the meantime I’m sure he will be utilized as a gatekeeper, but it’s clear that Maia most likely won’t be considered a contender again.

About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.