Demian Maia isn’t within reach of a title shot just yet, but after he ended the impressive run of Neil Magny at UFC 190, the welterweight’s been asked to weigh-in on how he’d defeat champion, Robbie Lawler.
Maia dominated Magny on Saturday night, as the latter had no answers for the vaunted ground game of the jiu-jitsu titan. Magny hung in there, but in round two, Maia finally sunk in a fight ending rear-naked-choke. Magny had won seven in a row prior to the bout.
Following the event, Maia was asked for his thoughts on the champ Lawler, and how he’d fare against the powerful fighter. Here is some of what Maia had to say (quotes via MMA Junkie.com):
“In my case (the ground is) the only way,” Maia said. “I’m not going to exchange punches. His hands are too heavy. You see what he did in his last fight. He’s tough. He has a big heart and it’s hard to take him down. But if I’m able to take him down I know I can win. I can do that to pretty much anyone in the division.”
Pretty hard to argue with Maia on this. Chances are he could take out any welterweight on the planet, provided he can get them on the ground. This hasn’t happened every time he’s taken a fighter down, of course, but to say he couldn’t submit any 170’er outright, is silly.
The question is, however, whether he could get Lawler to the mat and keep him there for a while? Lawler is a ridiculously tough and talented fighter, but he doesn’t have the jiu-jitsu pedigree of some of the other men Maia’s beaten.
Of course, all this talk is a wee bit premature. Maia is currently ranked #6 in the UFC’s welterweight division.