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UFC 109 Preview: Demian Maia vs. Dan Miller

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So apparently UFC middleweight Demian Maia is human after all. Although we all knew this to be the case, it was sometimes easy to forget when watching the renowned submission artist execute his gameplan against one UFC middleweight after another. Like all great fighters eventually do, Maia has hit his first roadblock. From a fan's standpoint, though, this gives us the opportunity to watch with great interest to see how he responds. How will Maia rebound from his first loss? Has he changed aspects of his training? Only time will tell. What makes his earlier loss to Marquardt even more peculiar is the way in which it unfolded. Maia came out aggressive and somewhat foolish in attempting an ineffective high kick, something that doesn't necessarily play to his strengths. Something tells me that we won't see this same approach from the jiu-jitsu world champion this time around. Demian Maia has a professional record of 11-1 with two wins coming by way of knockout and eight wins coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced so far is 67.3%.

SBN coverage of UFC 109: Relentless

Some may best know Dan Miller as the brother of lightweight contender Jim Miller. But the UFC's middleweight roster knows exactly who he is. Building a 3-1 record since joining the UFC, this Sparta, New Jersey native gained a lot of attention from his peers by easily tapping out accomplished collegiate wrestler and MMA prospect Jake Rosholt early in the first round last year. The 28-year-old Miller is coming off a lengthy layoff, following a decision loss to Chael Sonnen last May. Will his time away from the cage have a negative effect on him this Saturday? We'll see. One thing to keep in mind here: Miller is no slouch himself in the jiu-jitsu department, having recently been awarded the ranking of black belt. Dan Miller has a professional record of 11-2 with one win coming by way of knockout and seven wins coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced so far is 67.3%.

At 32 years of age, Demian Maia is aware how big of an opportunity this is for him. An impressive showing against a solid fighter at UFC 109 could get him right back in the middleweight title hunt. His submission prowess makes him a very real threat to anyone in the division. As I mentioned earlier, I think we see a more mature Demian Maia on Saturday night. If he plays to his strengths in this one, I see it ending well for him. Now, Dan Miller is a legit fighter and a solid threat so no one should ever take a fight against him lightly. But I see this one going the way of Maia. Good fighters learn from adversity and bounce back even better in the long run. I'm guessing that Demian will bounce back immediately with a win in Vegas on Saturday. My prediction: Demian Maia by submission in the 3rd.