Demian Maia has won seven in a row, and has defeated several of the UFC’s top welterweights during that run, but Tyron Woodley doesn’t think a victory Saturday’s going to do much for him…
Maia and Woodley will battle on the main card of UFC 214, which will take place in Anaheim, California. Maia was finally tapped for his title shot, after he worked his way to a split decision win over Jorge Masvidal in May. That victory followed submission wins over other top contenders like Carlos Condit, Matt Brown and Neil Magny.
Well, although Maia is clearly deserving of a title shot, it sounds like the welterweight champ believes he’s in somewhat of a lose-lose situation. On the latest “UFC Tonight“, Woodley had to say this, when asked what he stands to gain on Saturday (quote via FOX Sports 1 press release):
“The fans don’t respect jiu-jitsu. The fans want to see a war. I respect his jiu-jitsu, but his Brazilian iiu-jitsu excellence isn’t as exciting and that’s why it won’t propel me up the pound-for-pound list. If he can’t take me down, it’s going to be a short night. He’s very aggressive to take you down in the early rounds. But if he waits, than fatigue sets him.”
It’s an interesting point. There’s no question that a lot of fans don’t appreciate / understand jiu-jitsu, and as a result, Maia doesn’t receive the attention and appreciation he deserves. After all, we’re talking about one of the greatest grapplers on the planet.
But, if Woodley can score a highlight reel, KO, you would think he’ll receive some positive buzz and possibly a bump in the P4P ranks no? Maia hasn’t been finished since 2009, so, stopping the jiu-jitsu god would have to register somewhat?
If Woodley has a tough time with Maia, however, and barely gets by the Brazilian, then ya, he’s going to take some heat. Not because Maia’s not ridiculously dangerous, but because Woodley’s a fair sized favourite, on account of his wrestling background.
The ATT / Roufusport fighter also had this to say about scrapping Maia:
“I’m going to go out there, take him down and submit him.”