Demian Maia vs. Jake Shields: A Fight That Should Never Have Been Booked


Demian Maia and Jake Shields will square off at UFC Fight Night 29, in a battle of two of the best grapplers in the 170lb. division. Maia is looking solid at Welterweight, riding a three fight win streak and holding a record of 18-4.

Shields is coming off an unimpressive (BS) victory over Tyron Woodley at UFC 161, after three rounds of not much action Shields was awarded a split decision win. The match up with Maia was somewhat unexpected, and a lot of fans are writing Shields off ahead of this scrap.

As I mentioned before, this fight features two of the premiere MMA grapplers; Shields is a BJJ black belt and an ADCC/Pan American medallist, Maia is an ADCC world champion, a fourth degree black belt in BJJ and holds a 50 percent submission ratio.

A burning question for me ahead of this fight is ‘will this be a snoozefest?’ Well, we know that neither Shields nor Maia offer much in the way of knockout power; Maia’s TKO wins have come in the way of two injuries and one actual TKO. Shields holds three TKO wins, although all have come in the form of Ben Askren-esque grind outs.

You could quite easily make the argument that both Shields and Maia have very similar styles to Yushin Okami. ‘Thunder’ was recently axed by the UFC and the common opinion is that it happened because of his boring style. So why make a match up between two guys that has the potential to be a very stale bout?

With two high level grapplers like Maia and Shields, it could turn in to a tedious clinch fest. The chances are that neither man wants to test the others ground game in fear of being submitted. I’d also wager a bet that if this should happen, the loser will be given their walking papers.

Considering the current climate of cutting fighters, should the UFC really be making such potentially lame fights? It seems that Joe Silva may have done a better job here; especially considering the overflowing Welterweight division he had to choose from.

Then again I could be wrong. Maia and Shields could put on a world class display of grappling, or a kickboxing clinic. Then Uncle Dana and Chael Sonnen would shower third world children with Tapout T-Shirts and corn nuts. You get the point.

Then comes the question of how it affects the rankings, and the answer is ‘meh’. Even if Shields does win, which I think he won’t, he just isn’t well rounded enough to deal with the top end of the division.

Maia stands to gain pretty much nothing except a W if he is victorious, although four on the bounce at WW is very impressive. Overall, I don’t think this match up should have been made.

  • u think Maia would get cut if he was submitted? i don't think its gonna happen, but i'll take that wager. Maia at welterweight has been somewhat of a rebirth, his grappling is world class give him a chance to entertain

  • Shields is getting WHOOPED!

  • Neither will want to test the ground game??? That's typically not how fighters think. They both want to prove they are the best. How can you not be excited for this fight. Everyone seems to have forgotten that Shields is still one of the top WWs in the world and Maia has been a beast since dropping down. No we likely aren't going to see a devastating KO but this is a great match up. And there's no way Maia gets cut if he loses, Shields possibly.

    • I saw the "neither will want to test the other's ground game" part and immediately thought, "Just like Mir and Nogueira didn't want to test each other's ground game?"

      Seriously though, Maia has fought 3 people at Welterweight: Rick Story (a great wrestler who is physically very strong for his weight class), Dong Hyun Kim (a great judo guy with excellent grappling) and Jon Fitch (a name synonymous with a dominant wrestling style). He went after them all with no fear and dominated them with his grappling. He finished Story and Kim in about 3 minutes total, and made Fitch wear him like a backpack for 15 minutes. Maia is NOT afraid of Jake Shields.

  • What fight have you watched the most often? Over and over again.

    For me it is Carlos Newton vs Kazushi Sakuraba from Pride 3 in 1998. It is a beautiful match where we see a warrior code, honor, ridiculous skills, beautiful grappling and submission attempts. If you thought it was boring you are not a student of the arts. Hopefully it doesn't turn into a clinchy snooze fest but I'll watch Maia and Shields hoping for something like Newton vs Sakuraba.


  • Maia is far more likely to get this win. after his win against Fitch I don't know what Shields has to offer Maia. I would have picked Fitch now a days against Shields. I hope Maia gets GSP after this because he is in my opinion the only one who can beat GSP legitimately.

  • How the **** can you write that Maia has a boring style? Have you seen the way he has been manhandling guys at WW? Also, whether you like his style or not, Shields has won his last three (all via out striking his opponent) and has a pretty spectacular record. Not only does this fight make sense but it is one I look forward to seeing.

    • Furthermore, none of those three wins was BS. The only thing BS is stripping a guy of a win for testing positive cor weed.

      • A lot of folks thought Woodley deserved the decision in their fight. Dana tweeted it after the fight, which might have something to do with that thought process.

        Personally, I thought it was clear enough for Shields. Incredibly boring, but effective in absolutely shutting the other guy down.

  • This fight is fantastic….imagine if it goes to the ground and we see amazing transitions toped with an amazing sub….this is a chance to maybe watch the best ground work in MMA in action…..low chance of that happening I grant you but the even the small probability makes this something to look forward to.

  • This is a way different level of Jiu-Jitsu for Shields. Learn from the clinic Maia is about to out on you Bud.. This is is World Class Jiu-Jitsu at it's finest!

  • The only thing that pisses me off was the fact that I just read this article. I don't understand the point of you argument. This fight is a Fight Night card so it's not like the UFC is asking you to pay for it. The match makes perfect sense, simply because it allows UFC fans to watch to of the highest level BJJ guys go at it. For me, I love that. Maia has been a force to be reckoned with at this weight class and if he wins, his streak continues, if Shields wins, then he just beat one of the top contenders in the division. This is a poorly written.informed article, period.

  • This is an awesome fight. Joe Rogan is going to lose it if it goes to the mat.

  • I don't get this article…basically what you're saying is, ground games are boring?

  • D

    And this is an article that never should have been written.

    If you don't like grappling, watch kickboxing.

    • @Mousasi
      Your absolutely right, the article was garbage, it's that bad I can smell a foul smell coming form my computer.

  • Who wrote this article ? This is MMA there's a place for entertainment and appreciation of the Art. I never knew what BJJ was before I found this sport and look forward to this fight. Mai and Sheilds might be scared to grapple ? LMAO No dummy they will probably relish the challenge. BTW I've noticed that live crowds don't boo Mai when he's grappling because his intent and skill is clear, he usually passes and goes for subs even if their unlikely to come off at times.