Now that UFC middleweight Demian Maia has accepted the challenge of trying to hand champ Anderson Silva his first loss in 11 fights, the talented Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner is formulating his schedule for the April 10th showdown.
“I [rested last] week [and will continue] until half way through [this] week, then I’ll get back to training,” Maia told GracieMag.com. “That will be enough time for my body to rest, because generally that’s how long I rest, about 10 days.
“This time, I’ll have to pick up the pace a bit quicker than I plan to with four months of prep time.”
With Vitor Belfort’s abrupt exit from UFC 112, the organization was left scrambling for a suitable last-minute replacement to face Silva. Although he was just six days removed from his unanimous decision victory over Dan Miller and only 57 days before the UFC debuted in Abu Dhabi when he got the call, it wasn’t even a question when the offer was extended.
“This is the opportunity I can’t pass up,” Maia said of fighting “The Spider” during his prime for the title. “It may happen only once in my lifetime. It’s not the ideal amount of time, but at the same time, it’s not bad. I’m coming off a fight and I’m not out of rhythm.”
The short turnaround also allows Maia to quickly build on the confidence he established during his 15-minute stand up scrap with Miller. Although he understands there’s a ton of work left to be done, his performance at UFC 109 will go a long way mentally as he preps for MMA’s most efficient striker.
“It was really important, because I could test myself standing and see that it wasn’t just in training that I could fight like that,” said Maia. “I managed to fight safely, controlling the distance safely. It was also really important to fight 3Rounds, which I hadn’t yet done in the UFC.
“It was worthwhile for the experience and I’m really happy because I felt safe standing, which I had never felt before. It was important in my evolution and was something I needed to do before challenging for the title. But I know I have much to improve on and many details to correct, for sure.”