After an undeniable victory over the giant Kendall Grove, the black belt Demian Maia is among the top names of the middleweight division of UFC. On an interview given to TATAME, Demian commented his difficulty of confronting a guy of 66, talked about his evolution on the exchange, talked about his season, told us his plans for 2011 and commented the statement that Anderson Silva has given about him on Sensei SporTV. Check there and other subjects on the below interview.
What did you think of your presentation against the giant Kendall Grove?
I’ve watched the fight later and I liked what I’ve saw, it was a very busy fight, I hit him with good jabs and I moved a lot on the ground, I couldn’t finish him, but I came close some times, I fit good coups and I showed I’m more mature inside the octagon.
You did a nice job on the first round and on the third you slowed it down a little. Did you administrated it because you knew you were better on the first rounds or were you tired?
I slowed it down because I knew I was winning the fight, but I believe that I clearly won the third round too, I attacked a lot, he came forwards but he couldn’t connect efficient coups, maybe one, and I’ve hit him like four times, it was a round where I explored my Boxing skills. When there were 40 seconds left, I grabbed his legs and hold him there because it didn’t make any sense to exchange with him and risk it all like a lottery, it would be a good thing for him and I would end up losing. Nowadays we have to stick to our game plan because it doesn’t work to just keep trying to punch the guy and finish being knocked out.
What was the most difficult part of confronting a guy of that height?
The most difficult thing is that we don’t have many people of that height to train with, but I was lucky to have Ednaldo Lula, a fighter of Salvador who is taller than him, besides I have trained Jiu-Jitsu with Antonio Peinado, who’s not as tall as Kendall. The difference was that Kendall trained with many guys of my size, while I only had one guys of his size to train with.
Even facing a fighter with a greater reach than you, you showed that you evolved a lot on Boxing. How is this stand-up work been doing?
I work with my masters and I like the guy a lot, professor Dórea, that you all know, André Lopes in Sao Paulo, who’s an excellent guy, a great person. Dórea is amazing, having him on my corner makes much difference and I work with these people I really care about and I trust the ones who are at my side and it makes my evolving more natural.
On an interview to Sensei SporTV, Anderson said you would be the next guy to be beaten on the middleweight division for a long time. After all this polemic involving the both of you, what did you think of this statement?
Actually, I didn’t see it coming, but I’m really glad to hear it from a great champion like Anderson is.
Now that you have won the second consecutive fight you’re back to the top of the division. What do you think of 2010 and what will you hope for 2011?
This year represented my maturing process, I’ve fought 14 rounds, I haven’t done 14 rounds in my whole career and I did it this year. There were four fights and I’ve only lost one, the title fight against Anderson and against him I think I’d have won at least one round, so I see this season as a very good one for me as an athlete. For 2011, I have to keep winning so I can have a title shot again.