Demian Maia Title Shot: Maia Wants a Shot at the Title
The welterweight division is absolutely stacked with title contenders, and Demian Maia believes he is in that class as well. Maia spoke out and had this to say about the Demian Maia title shot:
“I truly believe I can be the champion. I feel, I can visualize that. I am gonna fight for the title this year. I can visualize that. And I feel like I can be the champion.”
Confidence is the key for anyone wanting to be a champion, but does Maia claiming he will fight for a title this year have any weight to it? Well, let’s take a look at his case for being the next contender for the 170 pound belt.
The Argument for Maia
Since losing back to back matches to Jake Shields and Rory MacDonald, Maia has strung along four victories in impressive fashion. His most recent bout against Gunnar Nelson at UFC 194, a grappling fans dream match-up, was a dominant performance by Maia.
Nelson was not able to do anything against the Brazilian, being held to the ground and out-grappled every single round. It was not the most exciting fight, but Maia exhibited his excellent grappling skills for a full 15 minutes and made a case for himself having the best ground game in the whole division.
His fight before that, at UFC 190 against Neil Magny, was a much better case for Maia to obtain a title shot. Magny is a dangerous contender and Maia was able to lock him up in a rear-naked choke in the second round. Maia was able to earn a fight bonus that night, receiving performance of the night.
Maia is not a flashy fighter by any means, but with his technique and his confidence, it is possible that with his four-match winning streak that the UFC could grant him a crack at the welterweight title. There hasn’t been a Demian Maia title shot in six years, dating back to a middleweight title shot against Anderson Silva, which was given to him on short notice. Six years is a long time for a veteran of the sport not to have a main event type match, especially for a fighter that has not done anything drastically wrong to lose the organization’s trust.
The Other Contenders
The welterweight division has so many top contenders, it is difficult to see where Demian Maia plays a part in a title fight anytime soon. Not to mention, it’s even harder to see that title shot coming in 2016.
The UFC has been very quiet about their plans for this division. Maybe this is because they are trying to schedule something for UFC 200 or it could be that this division is not a top concern right now to the organization in terms of a title fight.
Carlos Condit had a classic fight with welterweight champion Robbie Lawler this January, which many fans believe Condit won. There could be an immediate rematch scheduled in the future, but if not, there is a long list of fighters who also are waiting to hear from Dana White.
Tyron Woodley was supposed to fight Johny Hendricks in a possible title elimination fight, but Hendricks was not able to make weight, canceling the fight. Woodley has sat out of any fights recently because he believes he is the number one contender and will not settle for anything less than a shot at gold.
Rory MacDonald and Stephen Thompson have a bout schedule on June 18th and the winner could be next in line for a crack at Robbie Lawler’s belt.
Overall, there is at least five people who the UFC could put in a title fight at this division and no one would question the decision. Maia, although he believes he can get a shot this year, may take one or two more fights against the top five contenders in the division to make a stronger case for the Brazilian.
Maia has a chance to increase his win streak, as well as his chances of a title shot, on May 14th against Matt Brown. Will we see a Demian Maia title shot this year?