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Demian Maia says ‘emotional’ Colby Covington is trying to put a ‘burning on his soul’ for UFC Sao Paulo

UFC Singapore Fight Night Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

After getting out-classed in his latest title shot opposite UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, Brazilian legend Demian Maia will look to get back on the divisional track tomorrow night (Sat., Oct. 28, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 119 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil, when he takes on rising contender Colby Covington.

Unlike most of the fighters Maia has faced during his tenure at 170 pounds, Covington has dropped verbal bombs at every possible turn. Not only has the young contender threatened to retire Maia at UFC Fight Night 119, but he’s gone out of his way to bash the country of Brazil.

Fortunately for Maia, his mental capabilities are powerful enough to deflect all of Covington’s efforts.

“I really don’t follow (his trash talk), especially this close to the fight,” Maia told MMAjunkie. “My approach has never been being like that. For me, it doesn’t matter. My experience says don’t worry about that and don’t follow and don’t feed that. For me, the fight’s more strategy – it’s not emotion. And I know he’s probably doing that because for him, the fight’s emotional. He needs to put this burning on his soul. For me, it works different and that’s the way that I am.”

Maia, who is widely considered the best grappler to ever step foot inside of the Octagon, needs an impressive victory over Covington to remain in the title mix at 170 pounds. But even after 10 years of UFC competition, the Sao Paulo native believes he’s in the best shape possible to defeat Covington and take advantage of the little time he has left in the sport.

“I’m 39 years old and I’m feeling in the best shape of my life, both technically and in conditioning,” Maia said. “I need to use this time to have – I don’t know how long I will be in such a good performance, how long I will be able to hold this performance. I want to keep fighting and enjoy these last years, or last fights, of my life.”

While Maia isn’t the most marketable fighter on the UFC roster, his attention to detail and overall expertise on the ground is second to none. A win for him at UFC Fight Night 119 will prove he’s still capable of running with the young guns and that he remains a valuable asset in a growing welterweight class.

Based on Maia’s recent performances inside of the cage, Covington may be biting off more than he can chew entering his biggest Octagon test to date. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 119 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 2 at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

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