Condit will face the galaxy glass grappler in the headliner of UFC on FOX 21, which will go down on August 27th in Vancouver. Maia is riding a five fight winning streak into the bout, which has seen him use his takedowns and jiu-jitsu game to defeat the likes of Neil Magny, Gunnar Nelson and most recently Matt Brown.
Now folks who love jiu-jitsu, will likely list Maia as one of their favorite fighters to watch. He is a rarity in modern MMA, whereby Maia is knocking off world class competitors, by relying heavily on just his ground skills. In terms of capturing and maintaining key positions, he is a marvel to watch. Obviously his submission skills are among the best in all of MMA.
Well, Condit recently appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and he offered this take on Maia (quote via MMA Fighting.com);
“Here’s the thing, though. He’s underrated. Because he’s a phenomenal fighter, he should possibly, potentially be a no. 1 contender, but the thing is, his style’s not fan friendly. He doesn’t fight. He goes in there and he grapples,” Condit said. “There’s been a few fights where he’s gone against Chris Weidman and he threw down a little bit then.
“But in his recent fights, he just plays it super safe. I was cageside when he fought Gunnar Nelson and he had Gunnar Nelson beat. Gunnar was up against the fence, he was defeated. Demian Maia had the opportunity, hey, let’s finish this out…but he plays it safe and he’s been playing it safe. That’s why he’s not where he should be with regard to rankings or respect among welterweight.”
Now, Maia fans might argue that the former middleweight contender is just fighting smart, by not risking position etc. But, Condit is right, in that the Brazilian doesn’t receive the buzz and attention his record warrants, because his tactics don’t resonate with most fans. It is what it is…
All this aside, if Maia does defeat Condit at UFC on FOX 21, his case for a title shot will be pretty convincing.