Even six years on, the humiliating loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 112 still burns for Demian Maia.
It was, perhaps, one of the most bizarre fights of Maia’s career, as ‘The Spider’ danced and showboated inside the Octagon while not actually landing any real significant strikes. Silva, who eccentrically taunted and mocked Maia throughout the contest, walked away with the unanimous decision and defended his middleweight title, but was slammed for his theatrical antics and lack of output.
UFC president Dana White even walked out of the main event and said it was one of the most embarrassing fights he’s ever watched.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been more embarrassed in the 10 years of being in this business,” White said shortly after the bout. “It was the most horrible thing I have ever seen.”
In 2016, Maia has reinvented himself as one of the most feared welterweights in the world and is knocking on the door for a title shot. Silva, now 41, was knocked off the middleweight throne in 2013 and hasn’t won a fight in four years. His win over Nick Diaz at UFC 183 was overturned to a No Contest after it was revealed he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
Maia is currently on a six-fight win streak and has beaten the likes of Gunnar Nelson, Matt Brown and Carlos Condit. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu expert was ringside for UFC 205, which saw champion Tyron Woodley take on challenger Stephen Thompson in the co-main event. Unexpectedly, however, and rather controversially, the fight was declared a draw and Maia finds himself forced to reassess his plans for an immediate title shot, as both Woodley and ‘Wonderboy’ are being targeted for an immediate rematch.
Speaking to MMA Junkie at a media scrum, the combat sports veteran said he’s open to a catchweight bout with Silva and would like to fully move on from the loss.
“Anderson in a catchweight would be interesting because I think it’s a fight people would like to see,” Maia said. “That was the fight I remember the most in my life. It was very important for me. After that fight, I changed as a fighter. And a catchweight would be good because even if I lose I don’t think it will interfere too much with my welterweight division.”
Maia also says he’s interested in a bout with surging welterweight contender Donald Cerrone, who takes on Matt Brown at UFC 206.
“Cerrone asked to fight me, and if he thinks he can beat me, let’s do it. Let’s do it (but) not now. Let’s do it if they don’t book my fight for the title.”
Maia is currently ranked as the No. 3 welterweight in the world and has won three of his last six wins via submission.