Demian Maia is probably the loneliest guy in the welterweight division.
In fact, the Brazilian got so tired of waiting around for someone to call him out, he did something he rarely does and that’s issue his own challenge. Not surprisingly, the fighter on the opposite end of that request, Michael Chiesa, was like “Yeah, no.”
With that in mind, it must have been a pleasant surprise for Maia, 41, when longtime welterweight warrior, Diego Sanchez, put the submission wizard on notice in the wake of his Mickey Gall win earlier this month in Las Vegas.
“I would be honored to compete against him, after all the history we both have in the sport,” Maia told MMA Fighting. “Diego has a very good ground game, often underrated, is experienced, tough, has a lot of heart and has a great pace. I wouldn’t underestimate him at all, and I think it would be fun, with a lot of interesting scrambles. He is an offensive fighter, so he wouldn’t just try to avoid grappling at any costs, so it would be fun to watch, for sure.”
Maia (26-9) is a well decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with championship wins for Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) and International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), just to name a few, tapping the likes of Carlos Condit and Matt Brown, among others.
The reborn Sanchez (29-11) is riding high after back-to-back UFC wins over Gall and Craig White, resurrecting his previously-shaky combat sports career and putting “The Nightmare” back in the thick of things at age 37.
Maia vs. Sanchez ... who wants it?