Demian Maia already had a convincing argument that he should have been in the title talk conversation following five straight wins over a slew of top welterweight contenders. Maia put an exclamation point on that statement with a stunning first-round submission victory over former interim champion Carlos Condit on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night from Vancouver.
Over his recent win streak, Maia has made no secret the strategy he will employ against any opponent standing across the Octagon from him as he marches forward and immediately looks to take the fight to the ground.
Condit was no exception as Maia avoided an early striking exchange before swooping inside and planting the New Mexico native on the mat.
The early takedown not only put the fight into Maia’s world, but thanks to neither one of them working up much of a sweat to that point in the contest, it also allowed the Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert to quickly latch onto Condit’s back and start fishing for the choke.
Like a predator stalking his prey, Maia calmly worked his way into position, where he slipped a forearm under Condit’s neck and wrenched up to secure the rear-naked choke.
Maia held on to the choke while Condit grimaced, knowing that the end was near. Seconds later he tapped his opponent’s shoulder signifying the end of the fight.
Immediately after the referee pulled them apart, Maia broke into tears after picking up arguably the biggest win of his UFC career over a former champion and real veteran in Condit.
Throughout his win streak, Maia seemingly has gotten better and better with each victory while he’s taken virtually no damage in six consecutive fights. Over his past four bouts alone, Maia has taken only 13 total strikes from his opponents while wrapping up three submission victories — all by rear-naked choke.
Following this latest win in which he submitted Condit at just 1:52 into the first round, Maia said it’s finally time for him to compete for the welterweight title and it would be hard to argue against his logic.
“Right now, I think, is six in a row. This guy’s a former champion. This guy has been knocking out everybody. This is the guy who I watched his fight with Robbie Lawler and many people think he won, and I also think (he won), so for me he was the champion. I knew it would be a hard fight,” Maia said.
During the Octagon interview, UFC commentator Brian Stann confirmed that the next welterweight title fight would take place between champion Tyron Woodley and top-ranked contender Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, who sat cageside.
“I’m just so happy that I think now I earned the title shot. Now finally I will get the chance to fight for the title.
— Demian Maia
There has been no date or confirmation from the UFC on that title fight, but Maia says he has no problem sitting on the sideline until he finally can get his long-awaited shot at UFC gold.
“If he will fight first, I will wait for the winner of Woodley and Wonderboy,” Maia stated.
The loss was a tough pill to swallow for Condit, who returned to the Octagon eight months after a heartbreaking loss to Lawler in January. Condit believed a win on Saturday night would put him back into a title fight, but the submission defeat was a massive setback.
Now Condit, 32, has to make a very tough call on whether or not he’ll return to fighting or potentially call it a career.
“As far as my future, I have no idea,” Condit said. “We’ll just have to see. Obviously, I’m disappointed tonight. What are you going to do? It wasn’t my night.”