Demian Maia is looking to lock up a title shot at UFC 198, but in order to make that case, he’ll have to get by one of the toughest and most dangerous welterweights in the game.
That welterweight is Matt “The Immortal” Brown, who has gone 8-2 in hist last 10 fights and is ranked #8 at 170. The only men to defeat Brown during that time are the champion Robbie Lawler and former champ Johny Hendricks. Both men won via the judge’s scorecards. No shame in that.
During that time, Brown has finished 7 opponents; that’s right, 7. The only fighter, aside from Hendricks and Lawler that made it to the final bell was Stephen Thompson. Thus, this is likely why Maia recently told MMA Junkie.com Radio the following (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“He’s probably the most aggressive striker I’ve ever fought,” Maia said. “He looks to hurt you, looks to come forward all the time. He’s the guy who will try to win every single minute from the beginning of the fight. I will be in a war Saturday night.”
Yup. Brown isn’t an easy out for an fighter, and neither is Maia, which is one of the reasons this fight is so compelling.
Maia, of course, has been busy silencing those who wrote his championship aspirations off back in 2014. Maia was decisioned by Jake Shields and Rory MacDonald in consecutive fights. But since then, Maia has won four straight, and most recently scored one sided wins over Neil Magny and Gunnar Nelson. Both of these men had now answers for the jiu-jitsu of Maia, including the latter, who is a ridiculously talented grappler in his own right.
UFC 198 will be hosted by Curitiba, Brazil. In the main event, heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum will battle Stipe Miocic.