Just like you, I watched Demian Maia win with relative ease Saturday night at UFC 95. My first reaction was "That man deserves the next shot against Anderson Silva." The guy is undefeated in not just his UFC career, but his ENTIRE MMA career. Also, he has submitted every opponent he has fought inside the octagon. I truly believe he is a threat to dethrone Anderson Silva. However, after reevaluating everything I think Maia needs another win to earn a title shot. Here's why:
Demian Maia is in the same predicament as Lyoto Machida in which I wrote about here. While both fighters are ranked in MMA4Real's top ten, neither have defeated top ten fighters within their respect divisions. Let's take a look at Maia's opponents in the UFC thus far:
- Ryan Jensen-UFC career record of (0-3)
- Ed Herman-UFC career record of (3-4)
- Jason MacDonald-UFC career record of (5-4)
- Nate Quarry-UFC career record of (5-2)
- Chael Sonnen-UFC career record of (1-3)
Maia's opponents inside the octagon have managed a record of (14-16). Also, outside of Jason MacDonald and Nate Quarry, none of these fighters have fought and/or beaten any of the upper tier of middleweights. I could count Sonnen's victory over Paulo Filho, but I don't consider that victory one that holds much weight under the circumstances. Anderson Silva is scheduled to defend his middleweight title at UFC 97 against Thales Leites. I also think it's been confirmed that the winner of Michael Bisping/Dan Henderson(UFC 100) will get a title shot. Which means Maia would be waiting for a very long time for his opportunity to come.
What Maia needs to do is face Nate Marquardt in his next fight. Marquardt is very much so in the running of earning another shot at Anderson Silva as well. This fight accomplishes a couple of things:
- A win for Maia would give him a win over a top 5 middleweight.
- It would keep Maia active while Silva defends against Leites and the winner of Henderson/Bisping, provided he beats Leites.
This fight would also add some clarity to the muddled pack of contenders vying for a shot at whomever the middleweight champ is a the time. Feel free to drop your comments, thoughts, and whether you agree or disagree.