Recently Jorge Masvidal reported that Demian Maia has turned down a bout with him, and now the latter’s released a lengthy statement, explaining why.
Since Masvidal’s impressive, stoppage win over Donald Cerrone, the welterweight has been campaigning for a bout with a top contender. “Gamebred” recently said that a fight with Maia was tabled, but that the vaunted grappler turned it down.
Well, clearly Maia felt the need to explain his position, as the perennial contender has posted a lengthy statement on Facebook, outlining why he’s holding out for a title shot. Here is just some of what Maia had to say:
I have seen a lot of people justify my lack of title shot so far, because I`m not as popular as other guys, or I`m not as outrageous, or because of my fighting style. Sometimes perception is very subjective, and when you see the rumored numbers for many PPV cards headlined by WW Championship fights over recent years, it`s tough to really believe my own title shot would be so much worst than many of the fights that were booked. Also, when you look at social media numbers for many of the former challengers at WW and myself, you don`t also see that much difference to justify what became the perceived truth. Not to mention that biggest star the UFC WW Division had in recent years, was far from being outrageous, and wasn`t and flamboyant striker either.
I respect Masvidal, Lawler, and each and every MMA fighter that steps inside a cage or a ring. It`s not easy at all, and it`s way more pressure than many people can imagine. Nobody that does this for a living, and even more that get to this level, doesn`t deserve a lot of respect. I have fought many of the top fighters at MW and WW, including maybe the best ever at his prime, and I never had any problem fighting anyone at the right time. I would fight anyone at WW For a belt right now, interim or linear, and when we got the Masvidal fight offered we explained our reasons for being frustrated and wanting to wait for a Title Shot, how the proposed card could impact us financially, but said we would discuss it and come up with a decision. We haven`t even said “no” yet, when news starting to pop up that we had declined the fight. Fair enough I guess, as it`s not what we had in mind anyways.
When you consider the run Maia has been on, and where he’s at in the title shot mix, it’s not surprising that he turned down a bout with Masvidal. As it stands, Maia has nothing to gain from taking that fight, except a paycheck.
Now if the winner of Tyron Woodley – Stephen Thompson II gets injured, or something else goes down where Maia’s title shot would be delayed a long time, then taking a bout in the interim would make sense.
Woodley and Thompson are scheduled to meet again on March 4th at UFC 209.