Maia and Masvidal have been booked to fight at the May 13th card, which will go down in Dallas, Texas. When the match-up was announced, it came as a bit of a surprise, as many expected the surging Maia would wait for a title shot.
“Just how people were surprised about my striking against Cowboy, they’re going to be even more surprised by my grappling in this fight,” said Masvidal, while referring to his stoppage win over Donald Cerrone in January. “You can’t beat a guy like Maia unless you can grapple at that level. And most of the dudes – especially the guys he’s fought – are not at that level of defensive wrestling or defensive jiu jitsu to beat him. I know that I am. I know that in every position we could come to in MMA, I’m going to out-position this guy. I’m going to out-will him, and then he’s going to give in to the fatal blow.”
Masvidal is a very well rounded fighter, and could very well be one of the most complete when it comes to the welterweight division. But, Maia’s ground game is on a whole other level. This is a man who dominated Gunnar Nelson on the floor – a dude who is a world champ in jiu-jitsu. So, if Maia can get Masvidal down more than once, one would think the chances of the latter winning this fight are slim. Even if he doesn’t get submitted. Wrestling will play a key role in this bout.
But, Masvidal just took out one of the UFC’s best strikers in Cerrone, on his feet. So, it’s going to be an interesting fight. No question.
UFC 211 will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between champion Stipe Miocic and Junior dos Santos.