Former middleweight contender Demian Maia has reinvented himself since dropping down to to the welterweight division. Not only has the Brazilian jiu jitsu ace been putting on grappling clinics on fight nights, but the striking of Maia is what is surprising people. Maia is undefeated since dropping down to welterweight and now finds himself in a bout against Josh Koscheck scheduled for UFC 163. In a recent interview, Maia explains the changes he made that he attributes to his recent success, the balance between training jiu jitsu and striking, and preventing himself from thinking too much about the welterweight title.
UFC 163: Aldo Vs Pettis takes place on August 3 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. In the main event, Defending Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo Jr will take on Anthony Pettis in a five round title bout. Pettis, who is making his featherweight debut, will be looking to derail the 15 fight winning streak of Aldo. Seven of those wins have been UFC/WEC Featherweight title defenses.
Maia told MMAJunkie:
“I think when you’re training MMA, it’s a new sport, People like myself come from one area, one martial art, and we need to improve on our other areas. So we’re training a lot in these other sports, like in my case on my boxing. Of course, you start to get sharper in that sport, but in the previous one you lose a little bit. The main thing is when you’re fighting, you do what you were training. So if you’re training boxing and you’re thinking, ‘Yeah, but I’ll fight with my jiu-jitsu,’ it’s not going to happen because it’s something that happens subconsciously. You’re going to fight like you’ve been training. Even if a good boxer is training a lot of jiu-jitsu for a fight, he’s going to want to grapple.”
“Since I dropped, I would be a liar if I didn’t say I was thinking about Georges and the belt. But now, I’m just thinking about Koscheck. I can’t think about the title just yet. Normally, I’m quiet, but sometimes you need to ask so the fans know. Many fans might see you win but don’t remember that you have three other wins before, so sometimes you need to remind them.
“Before the fight, I can’t say too much, plus I think it’s very bad luck if you start talking about title shots. First, I have a pretty tough opponent, so the main thing is to win this fight right now.”
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