Demian Maia has been in contention for a title shot for what feels like forever now but has yet to been given a fight for the welterweight belt. After losing to Rory MacDonald in 2014, Maia has won six fights consecutively against the likes of Matt Brown and Carlos Condit, ranking him as the #3 welterweight in the UFC.
Maia is considered one of, if not the best jiu-jitsu practitioner on the entire UFC roster and relies almost solely on that aspect of MMA. Incredibly, Maia has only absorbed thirteen strikes in his last four fights combined against elite strikers. This impressive statistic mirrors his fighting style perfectly, manage range, close the distance, then grapple and submit your opponent.
It was predicted that the winner of the Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson fight at UFC 205 would defend the belt against Maia in 2017 but unfortunately for the Brazilian, the fight ended in a draw warranting an immediate rematch.
Now that rematch has been announced and it will take place in March at UFC 209, Vegas.
— UFC (@ufc) January 10, 2017
— Demian Maia (@demianmaia) January 10, 2017
Woodley then responded to the Brazilian with his own classy tweet, showing the mutual respect that these two fighters have for each other.
— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) January 10, 2017
With the rematch taking place in March, Maia may have to wait until the second half of the year for the title shot or he will potentially have to fight Robbie Lawler for that #1 contender crown to cement his position.