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There isn’t a clearer contrast in all of MMA than that between Demian Maia and Colby Covington, who fought each other this past Saturday at UFC Sao Paulo. Demian Maia is, and remains, the nicest guy you will ever meet. He goes into fights with the goal of winning while inflicting the least hurt possible, living out the ethics of the “gentle art” he represents as well as anyone you will ever meet. Covington called all of Brazil a dump, full of filthy animals, and then apologized to the filthy animals for the comparison. It’s a promotional tactic designed to maximize shock value, getting Colby the most attention possible; a discount version of the strategy employed by Conor McGregor, or more accurately Chael Sonnen. Maia remained above it, seemingly immune to the verbal barbs.
That’s what made Saturday’s fight so compelling- it was clearly a fight between the “good guy” and the heel, on the good guy’s home turf. Brazilian crowds are notoriously hostile to outsiders, chanting death at anyone fighting one of their countrymen. Maia refused to stoop to Covington’s level on the mic before the bout; Covington gloried in the death chants, taunting the crowds. When the bell rang, Maia surprised just about everyone by knuckling up and going to war with the brash American, staying in the pocket and throwing bombs. Demian Maia, the 39-year-old grappler who specializes in taking people down and choking them out as efficiently as possible, had decided his best option was brawling with Colby Covington. For a round, it actually worked. Maia won the first round on two out of three scorecards, even busting up Covington’s face.
It wasn’t to last, though. There was no strategy that could have made up that decade gap in youthful stamina. Maia went back to his signature takedowns in the second rounds, trying to set them up with his striking, but it was no use. Covington is a powerful and active wrestler, who stuffed all of Maia’s shots and refused to shoot at all himself. Maia hung in the fight till the final bell, but at the end, he lay, face covered in blood, on the canvas, while Covington circled the Octagon to stony silence from the crowd.
Yet, it seems Maia holds no hard feelings. He has competed many, many times, twice with a UFC belt on the line. For Maia, this is just “one more step in the path.” He detailed his mindset in a Facebook post to his fans:
I want to thank everyone for their support and cheer, in one more step in my path. The great lesson of the sport is knowing that competing always brings lessons, and we have to be thankful for victory and defeat for learning. I did my best, I made some mistakes and moved a little, which may have embarrassed the execution of my strategy, but that does not take the credit of my opponent, who deserved the victory, and I come out of my head high knowing that I fulfilled my Role as best I could, and I move on to the next step of the journey. Thank you all!
I would love to say, “In a world of Covingtons, be like Maia”, but I don’t think it is quite that simple. Covington may be playing the part of an asshole, but I can’t blame him for trying to get all the attention he can in the short window of opportunity we call a career. What I can say though, is that every fighter should be authentically himself. If you aren’t McGregor, don’t try to be. Embrace the spiritual lessons of the journey; be authentic like Demian Maia.
I would love to see this matchup. Usman is one of the few with the wrestling chops to hang with Covington, and it would be a fight for the future of the division.
There are some great fights this weekend.
Biggest fight this week: GSP-Bisping, Yi Long-Sittichai, or Jin vs. Devil Kazuya? pic.twitter.com/vgJUbwjoqh— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) October 30, 2017
Joe Rogan is excited about one fight card in particular:
I’m extremely excited about this card. TJ vs Cody is one of the best bantamweight matchups ever, GSP returning vs Bisping is a total mystery, and a very intriguing match up, and Joanna VS Rose should be chaos! #Repost @danawhite ・・・ Fiiiiiiiight weeeeeek!!!!! 3 title fights! Bisping vs GSP, Garbrandt vs Dillashaw and Joanna vs Rose LIVE on PPV!!!!!
If you wonder who Yi Long is, he’s a monk with a chin on him.
If you missed this weekend’s Joshua-Takam boxing match, here’s a replay for you:
For the record, this stoppage was completely unnecessary and it doesn’t help anyone, least of all Anthony Joshua, to be so eager to stop the fight in his favor.
Francis Ngannou agreed
I thing that was an early stoppage!!! https://t.co/qgEdBJPCEK— Francis NGannou (@francis_ngannou) October 30, 2017
Mike “Platinum” Perry pulverizing pumpkins
RT UFCONFOX: RT PROcast: UFC welterweight PlatinumPerry is crushing pumpkins before his fight with Santiago Ponzin… pic.twitter.com/kk3IQsmQzy— Susan Cingari MMA (@SusanCingari) October 30, 2017
Sage wants to be Dolph Lundgren’s son so badly
Did Daniel Cormier loosen his belt and forget to tighten it back up?
It’s hard to imagine anyone forcing former UFC fighter Yves Edwards into eating anything but okay
Slips, Rips, and KO Clips
This was the best submission of the weekend. Munhoz has a nasty, nasty guillotine
dead— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) October 30, 2017
Ciprian Mariș KOs Róbert Micura in 10 seconds (RFX) pic.twitter.com/PIggsnQlD9
That’ll do, sir. That’ll do.
Nasty axe kick to the sternum from Drakula neighborhood by Laurentiu Caluugaru (RXF) pic.twitter.com/au5V2uTn40— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) October 30, 2017
I had literally never heard of this fighter, which shows you how deep my MMA knowledge does not go. Anyone that outgrappled Jake Shields in MMA is worth your attention:
Garbrandt being a ghost against the previously ethereal Dominick Cruz remains one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen. It calls to mind a line from the last Batman movie ever made: “So that’s how it feels” (Ben Affleck? I don’t know who that is.)
Watching Cody Garbrandt tape to prep for UFC 217. What an incredible talent. pic.twitter.com/2OmKIEewMU— Patrick Wyman (@Patrick_Wyman) October 29, 2017
I don’t know if this was real or just as “pro wrestling” as the rest of it, but that’s a sweet kick regardless.
The final Halloween Havoc was 17 years ago tonight featuring this sweet cartwheel kick by The Cat on Mike Sanders in their kickboxing match pic.twitter.com/nqyqgiQG8c— Old Wrestling Pics (@OldWrestlingPic) October 30, 2017
Speaking of long pants kickboxing, this is the best clip I’ve ever seen of that infamous Raymond Daniels vs. Stephen Thompson fight in Chuck Norris’ now-defunct World Combat League.
You got 28 minutes and 51 seconds?
Quick Hits and Good Reads
- Tim Means doesn’t know if he will get any money, but he wants to bankrupt the supplement company that got him suspended by USADA and I’m fully behind him.
The product is on usadas high risk list. Everything else has to be handled in court before any names can be mentioned. Not my choice.— tim means (@MeansTim) October 30, 2017
- I’m guessing this many not be some people’s cup of tea, but here’s a long-overdue exploration of how the male gaze has affected women’s MMA
- Piracy led to this bar owing 30,000 for UFC 201. That wasn’t even a good card to pirate.
- Here’s a great fight that’s getting overlooked this weekend: Hendricks vs. Borrachinha
Podcasts and Video
Fight Night 119 highlights! Follow MMA Mania on Youtube
The MMA Hour
The Severe MMA podcast
Marshawn Lynch doing a Darth Vader voice over is everything I wanted it to be