All UFC fans remember the now notorious fight between Anderson Silva and Demian Maia at UFC 112. Silva made a mockery of Maia for three rounds of the fight and then let him swoop in and take a shot, Maia still did not claim the belt. At this past weekend’s event, Chael Sonnen came a lot closer to taking Silva’s title away.
Maia recently caught up with Fighters Only magazine and discussed how he feels Sonnen had a real chance at taking Silva down, what he would do differently if he ever fought “The Spider” again.
“I told everyone before it happened there was a big chance that’s how it would go,” Maia said. “Chael is one of the toughest guys, he puts everyone down, I knew it could happen. I respect Chael a lot, he’s very tough. He was working all the time in that fight, fought really hard and I respect him a lot for that.”
And what would Maia do differently in a rematch against Silva? For one thing, Maia said he would respect him less, an issue Silva is constantly complaining about.
“I respected him too much,” Maia said of the mistakes he made at UFC 112. “Today I wouldn’t do that. I was waiting for him to come. My strategy for the fight was to sit back and wait for him, but he didn’t come. I didn’t know what to do when he didn’t. At the end of the 3rd round I decided I’d attack more when I realized he wasn’t coming. Then I started doing better. If I could have done that before, it would have been a much better fight. I would be more aggressive today. Sometimes if you stick too much to the strategy, it can not work. You should be a little bit more flexible with it.”
And although Silva made a point of trying to embarrass Maia as best as he could, Demian says he isn’t wasting his energy on holding a grudge against him.
“I don’t get emotional about those kinds of things,” he said. “I just want to be champion.”
Maia was set to take on Alan Belcher at the September UFC Fight Night, but Belcher has since been forced out due to a detached retina (and now a fear of total blindness), Maia will instead be going against Mario Miranda at UFC 118 in August. Demian is sure that with a defeat against Miranda, he will be set back on the right track to get another shot at Silva.
“I think Chael deserves a rematch with Anderson Silva first,” said Maia. “After that, you never know. I’ll keep going, keep fighting, keep winning and when I get a chance for the title, I’ll be a better fighter.”