Demian Maia thinks UFC has been trying to use him as a “stepping stone,” wants title fight with UFC 198 win

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Demian Maia (photo credit Gary A. Vasquez © USAToday Sports)

“I always want to take top 10 or top 5 guys. Always. But in my last fights, they kept giving me these rising prospects that many people thought could beat me. But I beat them all, one after the other. First it was [Ryan] LaFlare, then [Neil] Magny and then Gunnar Nelson. In those fights, I had the impression they were trying to use me as a stepping stone. I beat them all convincingly. Now I have the chance to fight Matt Brown, a really tough guy. But it doesn’t matter who I fight. With my arsenal, I believe I can beat everybody in the division. That’s why I want a title shot if I beat Brown.”

-UFC 198’s Demian Maia talks to Combate in Brazil about his spot in the UFC’s welterweight division and his fight with Matt Brown on Saturday night (translated by Lucas Rezende at

Penick’s Analysis: As I wrote this morning, Maia’s been highly underappreciated, and he’s proving that he’s still a legitimate contender with each passing fight. A dominant win over Brown only continues that run for him, and if he takes that next step forward he should at worst be set up in a No. 1 contender fight next. He’ll have earned it at that point.

[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]

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