Following his split decision win over Jorge Masvidal at last night’s (Sat., May 13, 2017) UFC 211 event in Dallas, Texas (see it), Demian Maia immediately sought out Dana White to plead his case for a shot at the Welterweight strap.
Ask and you shall receive, as White was quick to tell the jiu-jitsu ace that he was indeed next up for division champion Tyron Woodley. So why was the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president so quick to award Maia a shot at the strap, while other requests have fallen on deaf ears?
Its simple: He earned it.
“Listen, I was thinking about this when I talked to some of the media here yesterday: A lot of the guys are talking about deserve, deserve, nobody deserves anything. You have to earn it here, you know what I’m saying?” explained Dana during the psot0fight presser (video replay here).
“These guys want to sit around, you got Rockhold screaming, “I deserve this...’ you got knocked out in the first round, you don’t deserve anything, you have to earn it and Maia earned it,” declared a fired up White.
Indeed, Demian has earned his stripes, winning seven straight fights inside the cage, while Rockhold -- who recently called for an interim title fight — was knocked out and dethroned from the top of the Middleweight mountain by current champ Michael Bisping in his last outing close to a year ago.
After calling for his release if not given a clear path to navigate in order to get back to a world title fight, it seems Luke has softened his stance following White’s decision to yank Georges St-Pierre form his title fight against “The Count.”
That said, he still won’t be getting a title shot anytime soon, so he will have to get at least one more big win (if not more) against a high-ranked for in order to get back to the big dance.