UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier thinks Carlos Condit’s path to victory on Saturday night on UFC on Fox against Demian Maia is creating space and pushing the pace over five rounds.
“He’s got to use his footwork and create space so Maia can’t get takedowns,” Cormier said on FS1 UFC Tonight on Wednesday night. “He has to win the clinch and create some distance. His third key is he’s got to push the pace. He can go harder, longer over a five-round fight. If he pushes a hard pace, Maia can’t stay with that because won’t be comfortable on his feet.”
Cormier laid out what each fighter would like to do if they are dictating the fight. “This is going to be a phenomenal fight. Condit has great striking. Maia wants to push you against the fence and drag you down to the mat and into his world of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. This fight has huge title implications.”
Fellow FS1 analyst Kenny Florian predicted a victory for Demian Maia. “He’s one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu artists to ever compete in the Octagon,” he said. “He’s got to back Condit up, get the respect with his hands and get in grappling range. He’s got to vary his attack. He doesn’t want to be predictable. And key number three, he needs to land the takedown. If he gets you down, you’re not getting back up.”
Keller’s Analysis: Maia has won five in a row and hasn’t lost in two-and-a-half years, and three of those five fights have gone the distance, including a five-rounder, so Cormier’s analysis that Condit can go “harder, longer” in a five round fight might be true, but it won’t be uncharted territory for Maia. Condit has lost four of his last six, including two five round decision losses to elite competition (GSP in 2012 and Robbie Lawler early this year). Condit and Maia are ranked no. 4 and no. 6 in the latest MMATorch Welterweight rankings, so the winner will establish themselves into a small group of title contenders, and the loser could drop out of the top six.