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UFC 163: Maia “Bringing Back More” BJJ

Kelsey Mowatt

Josh Koscheck

Dropping down a weight class doesn’t always produce the kind of results fighters want, but in the case of Demian Maia, things have gone pretty well since the former middleweight contender made the transition. Since making the move the 35 year-old has scored a submission win over Rick Story and a one sided unanimous decision victory over Jon Fitch, the latter of which, few people saw unfolding in the manner that it did (yes, he beat Dong Hyun Kim too, but that was via rib injury 47 seconds in).

If Maia can take out Josh Koscheck at UFC 163, then it will have taken the Brazilian just over a year to position himself in the title shot mix, which is a pretty hard thing to do at 170 pounds. While speaking to MMA recently, however, Maia relayed that a renewed focus on his world class jiu-jitsu game is a key reason for his recent run.

“I think my success has been many things together, not just the drop but also how we organize the camp and the training,” Maia said. “Eduardo, my manager, is taking care of everything, and he’s very smart in how to organize everything and focus on the specific strategy for each fight and each camp. I’m bringing back more jiu-jitsu, and all those things together are making me much more sharp.”

Maia believes that if you spend most of your training camp working on your striking, then when it comes to fight time, you’re “going to fight like you’ve been training.” If jiu-jitsu is your best skillset, however, then things might not go so well.

This would explain why Maia is going “back” to a martial art, which he currently is a fourth degree black belt in. Just think how could a BJJ black belt is, let alone, a 4th degree one?¬†Whether Maia can use his grappling game as effectively when he battles Koscheck, however, remains to be seen.

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