Gilbert Burns Says Submitting Demian Maia At UFC Brasilia Is A Possibility

Gilbert Burns
Gilbert Burns (Photo: MMAFighting)

Gilbert Burns isn’t ruling out a submission victory against Demian Maia.

On March 14, Burns and Maia will collide in the co-main event of UFC Brasilia. The bout is set to take place inside the Ginasio Nilson Nelson. The event reportedly will be closed to the public due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Burns Says Submitting Maia Is Possible

Many expect Burns and Maia to mostly keep it standing as they are excellent on the ground and may be expecting a stalemate. Burns told Combate that he isn’t ruling out the possibility of catching Maia on the ground (h/t Bloody Elbow).

“Yes, it will go to the ground. You can be sure that there’ll be a little of everything. It’s possible to submit Maia. It’s very possible. When it gets to the end of the first round, the second, the third, he really fades. To be honest, I don’t think anyone he has fought, even those high-level wrestlers, like Usman, Covington, Woodley, Shields, had intentions to finish the fight using jiu-jitsu. I do think there’s a possibility I might submit Demian, and it will be one of the things I will try to do.”

Burns and Maia have a combined 22 submission victories. At the age of 33, many would argue that Burns is more in the prime of his career than the 42-year-old Maia. Still, there have been no signs of Maia’s performances inside the Octagon being hindered by his age. The oddsmakers have Maia as a slight favorite.

In the main event of UFC Brasilia, Kevin Lee will collide with Charles Oliveira. Lee had told Combate that he was hoping to silence the Brazilian crowd. While he won’t get that chance, he will get the opportunity to stop the momentum of Oliveira. It’s easier said than done.

Be sure to join MMA News this Saturday night for live coverage of UFC Brasilia. We’ll be bringing you live results, highlights, and the aftermath of this rare empty arena UFC event.