Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 1/30/12

 

Of all the fights on the “UFC on Fox” card, none left a bitterer taste in my mouth than the evening’s curtain jerker: Demian Maia vs. Chris Weidman.

Ok, so that bitter taste might have something to do with the fact that I bet $5 on Maia to win in what I felt was a “smart” underdog pick. After all, Maia is a phenom in BJJ, one of my all-time favorite grapplers. He also has more experience than Weidman, to say nothing of Chris taking the fight on two weeks notice. The deck seemed stacked in Maia’s favor.

But honestly, what I really wanted was a Jiu-Jitsu war, a grappling chess match for the ages to match Sakuraba vs. Newton, or even Maia vs. MacDonald (an unheralded classic, peep it if you haven’t). I wanted the kind of dynamic, exciting grappling exchange that would show the network TV universe that “rolling” can be just as fun to watch as “standabang”.

Instead, we got a three-round amateur kickboxing contest in which Weidman came out the winner, Maia came out looking awful, and fans came out asleep.

Hey, don’t take my word for it. From what we’ve been hearing on Twitter for the last 24 hours, this fight sucked the energy out of the United Center like a giant, mirth-collecting Hoover vacuum.

Remember when seeing the words “Demian Maia” on a card meant a surefire highlight-reel submission was in the offing? Remember how he absolutely tore through guys like Ed Herman, Nate Quarry, and Ryan Jensen? Remember that time he once did this to Chael freakin’ Sonnen?

What happened, Demian? You haven’t won by submission in three years now, but more than that you look like you’re not even trying that hard anymore. Against guys you should tie in knots – guys like Mario Miranda, Kendall Grove, Jorge Santiago – you’re tentative.

Now don’t get me wrong, Maia’s stand-up game has grown by leaps and bounds. That’s very much to his credit, except that it seems to have come at the expense of his ground game.

I just don’t see the cost/benefit in trading a world class BJJ game for an alright stand-up one. Put another way, I don’t think a championship is in your future if you can’t outbox a short-notice Chris Weidman.

In fact, the only attempts to bring the fight down were Weidman’s (as far as I recall, I’ve only seen the fight once). This speaks well to how confident he is on the ground, even when he’s gassed. I can’t wait to see what he can do against top comp with a full tank of gas and a full training camp under his belt.

And Maia? I think Maia needs to get back to his roots, pronto. In a funny way, I think the crushing Marquardt KO and the Anderson Silva humiliation changed Demian’s mindset. It showed him that world class BJJ isn’t enough. It forced him to grow and expand his game.

But he needs to remember what brought him to the dance. His wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, everything – it should all be in service of his BJJ game. Otherwise, I fear he’s wasting fans, Dana White’s and his own time.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Phillies agree to deal sending Jonathan Papelbon to Nationals

Report: Russell Wilson will close down contract negotiations Friday if no deal is in place

Report: Brady authorizes NFLPA to appeal his case in court

NFL, NFLPA reduce Le'Veon Bell suspension

Tim Brown: Cardinals new coach Jen Welter is 'tough as nails'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL seeks federal court ruling to confirm Brady’s suspension

Royals reportedly acquire Ben Zobrist from Athletics

Dallas Cowboys officially release RB Ryan Williams

Hulk Hogan reportedly used homophobic slurs, too

Pettine on Browns GM: We're singing from the same hymnal

Reports: Troy Tulowitzki had no idea he was being traded

Penguins trade Brandon Sutter to the Canucks

Ronda Rousey willing to fight Miesha Tate a third time

Mexico fires head coach for alleged airport brawl following Gold Cup win

Jameis Winston: Back at a good weight heading into camp

Shaq on Scottie Pippen beef: 'I don't let bums disrespect me'

Five NFL players who will take a step back in 2015

Jets won't hesitate to bench Geno Smith if he struggles

Jonathan Papelbon will be traded … somewhere

Six players poised for big year after season-ending injuries

‘Mystery pooper’ torments golf course by defecating in holes

Gyllenhaal’s parents made him turn down ‘Mighty Ducks’ role

Eli, Romo channel Rob Lowe in new DirecTV commercials

MMA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker