Demian Maia has won seven straight fights now, and has had to go through several, top welterweights while doing so. But, Tyron Woodley doesn’t sound too concerned about having to put his welterweight championship on the line, against the galaxy class grappler.
Maia took on Jorge Masvidal at UFC 211 this past weekend, and locked up a title shot (apparently), via a split decision win. Unlike many of his more recent fights, Maia didn’t dominate the fight from the get go, but the Brazilian did enough to get the victory.
Well, Woodley appeared on the latest “MMA Hour” on Monday, and here’s some of what the welterweight champ had to say about Maia (quote via MMA Fighting):
“I’m not against fighting Demian Maia,” Woodley said,“I think, out of all the guys in the top-10 that are really threatening guys who are frightening in the Octagon — whether it’s submissions or knockouts or just their ability to be tough — I match up the best with him. I’ve fought that style so many different times. I’ve trained against that style.
“My last five fights have been against southpaws — Dong Hyun Kim, Kelvin Gastelum, Robbie Lawler, Stephen Thompson — so as far as the stance and the style, I’ve seen it so many times and I have such great resources, guys like Ben Askren…”
Chances are Woodley’s not the only person who feels this way, and many others have argued that Maia could be in for a rough night against the champ. After all, Woodley is a very talented and experienced wrestler, and he hits like a ton of bricks. So, many believe Maia will have a tough time getting the action to the floor, where the best elements of his game can go to work. Maia struggled at times to get Masvidal down, and the latter does not have the wrestling pedigree or power that Woodley does.
But, you never know right? Maia has clearly been working on various ways to get a fight to the floor, and he’s also ridiculously good at taking the back.