There’s no denying that when one ponders the skill and art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the name Demian Maia comes to mind. Since establishing himself as one of the best in the world, Maia, a fourth-degree black belt, has had one goal in mind.

No, it wasn’t to arrive to the biggest stage in the world in the UFC. It wasn’t to even win a few fights. If you ask Maia, he’ll tell you it wasn’t even to win world championships in his so heavily treasured skill of jiu-jitsu.

Maia has accomplished all of the above, but one thing remains. At UFC 112, Maia earned a shot at then and still UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. After five decisive rounds, Maia saw his goal of becoming a UFC champion go up in flames.

Maia (Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog)

Now, almost three years later, Maia will make one last run at securing his name in history and fulfilling his dream of becoming a UFC title holder. The only difference? Maia will enter the Octagon a weight class lighter. A weight class that has brought him great pleasure and success.

“Since dropping to 170 pounds, my body feels great,” said Demian Maia in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “This is a great feel for my body.

“I would say that my first cut was the most difficult. The next fight I had was a little easier, and now this fight is the easiest of them all. I try to be about 185 pounds about two weeks before a fight. That way it’s only a 15-pound cut for me. You know, this is alright with me. I have noticed that I have felt better, and I perform well with this cut. I’ll be fighting at 185 pounds come fight night, so that’s what I like to be consistent at and walk around at prior to my fights.

“I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t have doubts about moving down a weight class. I was already in my mid-thirties at the time, so it was a difficult decision to make. It turns out that I made the right move, and that has given me a lot confidence. I knew that I needed to make a change if I wanted to make one last run at a title. I want to make this happen one more time.”

Maia may very well jump a few rungs on the ladder if he is able to defeat Jon Fitch when the two square off at UFC 156 this Saturday in Las Vegas. In regards to which Fitch will show up, Maia doesn’t care. A win would be his third consecutive victory, one that would make a strong argument for a bid at champion Georges St-Pierre.

Maia (Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog)

“I know in the back of my mind that a win over Jon could put me in the talks for a title shot. I need to get by Jon first. I don’t think Jon has any weaknesses that really stick out to me though. He’s a better wrestler than striker and he’s a very good overall fighter,” said Maia. “Plain and simple, he wins his fights.

“People think he’s boring because he doesn’t finish, but he still wins. Only a few guys have defeated this guy in the UFC and that’s to his credit. He’s dangerous though, even when you least expect it. He’s not submitting his opponents, but I know he’s a very good submission artist and he’s very smart. I think he will be aggressive like he was aggressive against Erick [Silva]. I see him keeping that same mindset. I am going to try and submit him.”

“I want to finish my career strong and make one last run towards a title.”

Top Photo: Demian Maia (Sherdog)

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