Demian Maia has to win at least one more fight to earn his welterweight title shot.
Many fans and analysts were puzzled when the third ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 170-pounder was booked to take on sixth ranked Jorge Masivdal at UFC 211 on May 13. The bout was announced just days before the welterweight title rematch between champion Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson.
Maia had been promised a title shot, but instead a rematch between Woodley and Thompson was booked. “The Chosen One” and “Wonderboy” fought to a draw inside Madison Square Garden in New York City back in Nov. 2016. They will run it back, but Maia’s focus will be on preparing for Masvidal.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace took to his Facebook account to explained why he accepted the bout with “Gamebred” instead of waiting to see how the welterweight title match-up plays out:
“I have been getting a lot of questions from fans and the press on why did I take this fight, such a dangerous fight, just days before the welterweight title (bout) takes place. It was no secret I was waiting for a title shot, and it could seem strange on why did I change my mind so close to probably finally having my chance confirmed.
It is very simple. I was asked to take a fight, and told I needed to remain active to get my chance. I am and have been a martial artist, a competitor, and a fighter for more than 20 years now. This is what I do for a living, and this is who I am. I respect the UFC and Dana White a lot, it’s been almost 10 years, and if that’s what I have to do, it makes no sense to wait any longer.
I honestly believe I had already done enough to have a title shot, but not everything in life is often as we wish, and now that doesn’t matter anymore. All my focus is on UFC 211, as Masvidal is an extremely tough opponent and no fighter can think past him. Being the sportsman I am, I’m going to go in there, do my best, compete and test myself yet again. That’s the life I have chosen.”