You may not have noticed, but Demian Maia has quietly captured four straight inside the Octagon against some rather formidable welterweight foes, including his latest win over Gunnar Nelson at UFC 194.
With his impressive streak intact, Maia was lobbying for a championship fight against division king Robbie Lawler next. But as he declared on The MMA Hour, a bout against a veteran like Matt Brown is a good consolation prize.
That's because a win over "The Immortal" at UFC Fight Night 87 on May 14 will prove once and for all he's ready for another shot at UFC gold.
"I'm good, of course, the dream was the title shot, but the next step was fighting a guy like a Matt Brown or Woodley because I know if I beat one of those guys, then I really am in the title shot. You never know with UFC, with what's going to happen, but I think that I would be into a title shot (with a win over Brown)."
For the record, Maia says Tyron Woodley is deserving of next crack at "Ruthless."
Of course, striking sensation Stephen Thompson made a case for himself, too, after he knocked out former 170-pound champion Johny Hendricks in a little over a minute at UFC Fight Night 82 a few weeks back.
Oh, and let's not forget about this guy.