Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg/13.2 st)
Born November 6, 1977
Fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Town of birth Sao Paulo, Brazil
Team/Association Team Brasa
Fighting style Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout 1
By submission 6
Demian Maia was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He is a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. He currently fights for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization.
Considered by many to be one of the foremost and best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the world, Maia began his MMA fighting career in December 2005. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he is a grappler by background under the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team Brasa. In his relatively brief time as a mixed martial artist most of his wins have come from submissions. He won the 77kg - 87kg weight division at the 2007 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, defeating Flavio Almeida by armbar in the Finals. Maia also defeated the likes of Yushin Okami, Rafael Lovato, and Tarsis Humphres that day in the tournament. Maia, who says UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie inspired him to begin an MMA career, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion. While Royce Gracie inspired him to begin his MMA career, it is actually Rickson Gracie that Maia looks up to the most and Maia lists Rickson as his hero. Maia won the 2007 Super Challenge under 83 kg belt by Guillotine Choke over Fabio Negao in the very first round. He defeated Vitelmo Kubis Bandeira by Rear Naked Choke in the QuarterFinal fight. In the SemiFinal fight, he defeated Gustavo Machado by a judges decision after two rounds. In the Mundials, Maia has defeated the likes of Ronaldo de Souza, Gabriel Gonzaga, and others.
As a child, Maia not only trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but he also trained in Judo. When he became a teenager, he expanded his horizons and took up the arts of Kung Fu and Karate. Demian Maia finished college and graduated with a degree in Journalism. He is a Second Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
On December 3 of 2005, Maia made his Mixed Martial Arts debut against Lukas Chlewicki at The Cage - Volume 4 in Helsinki, Finland. In just 4:22, Maia submitted Chlewicki by Armbar to win his MMA debut.
After nearly a year off from fighting at the top level, Maia returned on October 7 of 2006 to compete at Super Challenge 1. He fought and defeated Vitelmo Kubis Bandeira by Rear Naked Choke in the QuarterFinal fight before moving on to defeat Gustavo Machado by a judges decision after two rounds in the SemiFinal match. In the Final fight of the evening, he defeated Fabio Negao by Guillotine Choke in the first round. In just one night, Maia defeated three game opponents with three different styles and did it with relative ease. He was crowned the 2007 Super Challenge under-83kgs Champion for doing so.
On May 19 of 2007, Maia competed in GFC - Evolution against Ryan Stout. The fight began relatively normal with the fighters exchanging glove taps in the center of the ring as a sign of respect. It was followed up with a couple of nice leg kicks by Maia to get the action started. This led to them clashing shins and then Maia shooting in for the takedown and he secured it very easily. Maia easily passed Stout's guard as he started to work from the top, then Maia moved to side control, and then was able to secure the full mount. Maia started to rain shots down from the top and Stout tried to squirm out from the bottom. Maia attempted to roll to the back but Stout was able to scramble and get into top position. However, that would be short lived as Maia quickly reversed him and regained top position and actually landed in mount. For some reason, Stout began to immediately tap out and it later was learned that he popped his shoulder out of the socket when Maia swept him to regain top position. A tough ending to the fight, but another reason as to why Maia is so dangerous on the ground.
On August 7 of 2007, it was announced that the UFC had signed Demian Maia to a contract after seeing his enormous potential.
Originally slated to go up against veteran Marvin Eastman, the fight had to be changed due to Eastman suffering an injury during training. Because of that injury, Ryan Jensen, who trained with Team Quest for this fight, was named as his replacement. Maia and Jensen fought on October 20 of 2007 at UFC 77: Hostile Territory in Cincinnati, Ohio. The fight was a preliminary fight on the card and it was a quick one. The fight started out with both fighters in a stand-up exchange for only a few moments before Maia secured the takedown of Jensen. From there, Maia displayed his phenomenal jiu-jitsu pedigree and skills to get the fight exactly where he wanted it. Jensen had Maia's head firm in control but Maia was able to pass guard and get quickly into side control just 0:40 into the very first round. Jensen was able to get Maia out of side control but Maia quickly got right back into it just 1:05 into the first round. From there Maia was able to control Jensen's head –along with popping in a few forearms, elbows, and knees for good measure– in order to position Jensen properly. Ryan Jensen tried to scramble out of it and actually did a good job of it as Maia was almost able to mount Jensen but Jensen was able to slip Maia into his half-guard. From the bottom, Jensen remained active and actually did land a few punches to Maia's face along with an elbow or two. But as Jensen went to sweep Maia, Maia took Jensen's back just 2:00 into the first round. With only one arm around Jensen's throat, Maia was almost able to choke Jensen out as Jensen started to turn purple. With little effort at all, Maia was able to sink in his second underhook and forced Ryan Jensen to tap out due to Rear Naked Choke at 2:40 of the first round. He earned the Submission of the Night honors which paid him $40,000. He made $5,000 to show and $5,000 for winning. He made $50,000 for his first UFC fight and victory.
Maia's second opponent in the UFC was Ed Herman, another Team Quest fighter. The fight was at UFC 83: Serra vs St-Pierre 2 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on April 19 of 2008. It was a preliminary fight. The two came out and exchanged a glove tap. Right away, just 0:04 into the bout, Maia attempted a high left leg kick to the head of Herman but Herman blocked it with his arm. Maia then shot for a takedown and spun Herman into his half-guard. Herman was able to stand up just a few seconds later. Maia continued to work for the takedown, switching from a single leg to a double leg and finally got Herman down at the 0:44 mark of the first round. Maia landed in Herman's half-guard and started to work in some punches in order to loosen Herman's guard up. Herman was able to work his way back up to standing at the 1:00 mark but ate a knee to the midsection while doing so. Maia was working for another takedown from the clinch but ended up pulling guard at the 1:55 mark of the first round. Maia went for an omoplata at the 1:13 mark of the first round and had it in deep but Herman was able to roll out of it. Maia transitioned from the omoplata to a kneebar to a triangle choke in the matter of a few seconds but Herman avoided all of them. Herman landed back in Maia's half-guard and the fight stayed there for the next few moments. At the 3:10 mark of the first round, Maia caught Herman in a heel hook that Maia used to sweep Herman over and get into Ed's guard with. At the 3:40 mark of the first round, Maia achieved the mount position. From there, Maia landed a flurry of punches and elbows. At the 4:25 mark of the first round, Ed Herman was able to successfully buck Maia off of him and dropped into the half-guard of Maia where Herman started to rain leather down on Maia. Maia was able to gain his composure and clinched with Herman in order to get back up to his feet at the 4:35 mark. Each man landed solid knee shots to the midsection. Maia pulled guard at the 4:48 mark of the first round and Herman started to throw his vaunted elbows as the first round came to a close. The first round was likely scored 10-9 for Maia due to his submission attempts and control of the round. As the second round started, both guys looked pretty winded. Herman attempted a body kick just 0:05 into the second round that was shoved away. Maia retaliated with a high leg kick of his own just 0:10 into the second round that landed on Herman's arm. Maia then immediately shot for a takedown but then pulled guard on Herman just 0:13 into the second round. They scrambled back up just 0:20 into the second round and Herman was able to take Maia down 0:26 into the second round. Herman started to rain down punches from half-guard but wasn't effective really. Herman was working punches from half-guard as Maia looked winded just 1:00 into the second round. Herman's leg was trapped and Maia went for a heel hook at the 1:10 mark of the second round but Herman was able to escape. Herman fell back into the half-guard of Maia moments later. Herman's ground and pound started to get sloppy as Maia attempted a triangle choke 1:52 into the second round but Herman identified it and pulled out of it. Herman then rolled back into Maia's guard and was caught in a deep triangle choke 2:04 into the second round. From there, Maia pulled down on Herman's head. Herman attempted to roll out of it at the 2:17 mark of the second round but ended up on his back with Maia on top of him. A very rare sight to see when a triangle choke is being applied. From the top, with the triangle applied, Maia rained down seven flush punches to the exposed face of Herman as the referee stopped the fight due to Herman being unconscious. Demian Maia defeated Ed Herman by Triangle Choke at 2:27 of the second round. He earned Submission of the Night honors which paid him $75,000. He made $5,000 to show and $5,000 for winning. He made $85,000 for his second UFC fight and victory.
Maia's third fight was at UFC 87: Seek & Destroy where he took on middleweight Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald. As they came out to touch gloves for the opening of the fight, Maia started in the southpaw stance while MacDonald came out in the orthodox stance. Maia tossed out a couple leg kicks, including a high leg kick, that did really nothing to hurt MacDonald. They clinched 0:20 into the first round and Maia quickly pulled guard, getting the fight where he wanted it to be. MacDonald tried to work inside of Maia's guard but could do nothing. At the 1:09 mark of the first round, Maia quickly positioned him up for a triangle choke which he quickly locked up at the 1:20 mark of the first round. After looking like he would finish this fight very early, Maia could not get MacDonald to tap. Instead, MacDonald reversed out of the triangle choke at the 1:55 mark. MacDonald quickly passed to Maia's back after escaping and tried to work for a rear naked choke but was quickly reversed by Maia who put him back into his half-guard. Maia then moved MacDonald back into his guard. MacDonald then worked back into Maia's half-guard but then stood up. MacDonald landed a few shots to Maia, one of which cut Maia around the left eye. At the 3:30 mark, MacDonald worked for a guillotine choke but couldn't secure it tight enough. Maia reversed and put MacDonald on his back and then passed to side control which forced MacDonald to let go of the choke. At the 4:10 mark, Maia quickly passed to MacDonald's back and was working for a rear naked choke that he had locked in but MacDonald fought him out of it by pulling the arm away from the hand that would have cinched up the choke. The very back-and-forth first round ended with Maia working for the choke. The close round seemed to go Maia's way. They touched gloves to start out the second round. They started to swing at each other as MacDonald was looking to land something huge but Maia was the one who landed a huge left hook that rocked MacDonald just 0:06 into the second frame. MacDonald quickly recuperated and looked for the takedown but could not secure it. MacDonald tried to work knees from the clinch as did Maia. They both looked for the thai clinch but it was Maia who secured it and landed the harder knees which allowed Maia to clinch up with MacDonald and sweep him to the ground just 0:51 into the second round. Maia started to work from MacDonald's half-guard and then quickly passed to full-mount. Maia kept a great base as MacDonald attempted to roll which allowed Maia to control where MacDonald went. Maia started to land several flush shots with hard left hands and hard left elbows that started to faze MacDonald. MacDonald attempted to buck up but could not do so due to Maia's great base. Maia was attempting an arm triangle but quickly let go of it to work some more ground and pound with his hands and elbows. Maia threw a lot of arm punches in an attempt to stop the fight but MacDonald was intelligently defending himself throughout the entire time. Maia's ground work ultimately cut MacDonald open around the bridge of the nose. At the 3:57 mark, MacDonald finally was able to move Maia back into his half-guard. Maia quickly then moved right back into full-mount a few seconds later and attempted some more ground and pound. MacDonald then popped Maia out of full-mount at the 4:25 mark of the second round and Maia attempted an armbar but to no avail. MacDonald then landed in Maia's half-guard with just 15 seconds to go in the second round. Maia seemingly dominated the entire second round. As the third round started, they touched gloves again and both men attempted leg kicks that did nothing. They clinched up and both men worked for takedowns but Maia landed the takedown just 0:11 into the final round. MacDonald was working for a guillotine choke but Maia passed to side control and got out of it. MacDonald then quickly swept Maia and landed in Maia's guard. From the top, MacDonald did seemingly nothing to do damage. MacDonald then took Maia's back at the 1:25 mark and was working for a rear naked choke but Maia landed in side control and was able to spin out of it. Maia then won the scramble battle and took MacDonald down while landing in side control. Maia then quickly passed to full-mount and started to work the ground and pound. MacDonald gave up his back very quickly and Maia flattened MacDonald out with some vicious left hands. At the 2:37 mark, Maia locked in the fight ending rear naked choke MacDonald quickly tapped. Demian Maia defeated Jason MacDonald by Rear Naked Choke at 2:44 of the third round. He earned Submission of the Night honors which paid him $60,000.