Brazilian submission legend Demian Maia finally got his second bid for a UFC title last night (Sat., July 29, 2017) at UFC 214 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., when he took on champion Tyron Woodley in the co-main event. Maia had earned the right to fight “Chosen One” after racking off seven-straight victories.
As expected, Maia leaped in for the early takedown. Luckily for the champ, he caught the Brazilian coming in, cut his eye with a slick uppercut, and aggressively defended the shot. Woodley started to catch Maia on the feet after that, as the challenger launched undisguised takedown attempts that fell flat. In Round 2, Woodley dropped the Brazilian with a hard right hand. Maia waved him to come to the ground, but Woodley let him stand up and taunted him on the feet. The champ would further stalk the 39-year-old as Maia’s faced bloodied and bruised.
The third round saw Woodley land more hard shots, including a right hand that put Maia back on his heels. Maia’s willingness to step inside for a takedown dwindled down to practically nothing, as the Brazilian plodded forward with his hands up and chin tucked. While fans started to boo entering the fourth after both men ended the third sluggishly, Woodley continued to take his time, play it safe, and throw limited punches in effort to avoid Maia’s grip. There was little action to commentate on from min. 16-20, which further angered the hungry crowd.
The fifth and final round offered much of the same, as Maia fell into his takedowns and Woodley circled away with ease. Woodley essentially refused to throw any offense, which resulted in a “bullsh*t” chant by the California faithful. It was truly a tough round to judge, yet a five-minute insight into what the entire fight looked like. In the end, Woodley risked little to walk away with the unanimous decision win and his welterweight title.
Check out the full fight video highlights above courtesy of UFC.
With this win, Woodley will continue his title reign and presumably meet Georges St-Pierre his next time out. While Woodley did little offensively in this fight to make you think he can defeat GSP handily, the champ is still an elite machine. But until he starts going for the finish, fan frustration will continue to build.
For complete UFC 214 results and coverage click here.