Vitor Belfort's replacement Demian Maia shared his thoughts on a fight against Anderson Silva and the moment where he decided to step up and challenge "The Spider" for his UFC Middleweight Title. Demian Maia, who is regarded as the best grappler currently competing in Mixed Martial Arts, says he still cannot believe that he is fighting Anderson Silva on April 10th:
“This is the best carnival of my life! I still can’t believe it. My manager called me and they asked if I wanted to fight for the belt. I said of course, you don’t even have to ask it. It was just what I wanted, something I fought for my entire life. I’ve been preparing myself for this my whole life and to have this opportunity now is great."
Despite his joy, Demian Maia understand that he has only 2 months to prepare for the fight against his fellow Brazilian. Maia trained with the Nogueira brothers for his fight against Dan Miller, but he already knows that the twins will stay loyal to their Black House friend:
“Rodrigo, Rogerio and Junior Dos Santos helped me so much for my last fight. They are great friends for me now, but I want to make it clear that I totally understand their decision. If they want to stay in Anderson’s corner, I will totally understand and that will never affect my friendship and respect for them. I want them to be comfortable about that.
I’ll have time to prepare an strategy. I’m coming from a heavy training and I’m in a fight rhythm. I’ll let my body rest this week and I’ll start the training next week”. I still don’t know where I’ll train, but I’ll go train Boxing with Luis Carlos Dorea for sure. My physical preparation will be with Rafael Alejarra.”
Many fans are sceptic about the entertainment value of the Silva vs. Maia match-up, with the awkward Thales Letes' performance at UFC 97 in Montreal. Maia revealed that he is preparing a smart strategy against Silva, with BJJ as the main weapon:
"If I say to you that I’m going to exchange with him I’ll be lying. It’s the same thing if I say he’ll go to the ground with me. But I’ll go to this fight ready for everything. It’s a title fight and the title always was my dream. I imagined having this title shot a year ago, but I had two more fights and God, for one reason, gave it to me now.
Everybody waited for the UFC to announce Silva vs. Chael Sonnen to the title fight, also Demian. I think Sonnen is not recovered from the fight against Nate Marquardt and won’t have time to get ready to this. They looked for the top guys and I was the choice."
Anderson Silva and Demian Maia will square-off at the main event of UFC 112: Invincible in Abu Dhabi on April 10th. UFC Lightweight Title bout between Frankie "The Answer" Edgar and BJ "The Prodigy" Penn will serve as the co-main event of the evening.