No. 3-ranked Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia has quietly become a force to be reckoned with at 170-pounds as he’s won six straight bouts, most recently submitting former title challenger Carlos Condit in the first round of their UFC on FOX 21 main event. Maia’s resume should land him dangerously close to a title shot, but the welterweight division is currently in a state of limbo.
Newly minted titleholder Tyron Woodley, who won the belt with a brutal knockout victory over Robbie Lawler at July 30’s UFC 201, has expressed interest in bouts with big names like Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz, neither of which have been active in recent memory. No. 2-ranked Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is also well-deserving of a title shot.
No matter what lies ahead for the champion, however, Woodley doesn’t seem to be too concerned with Maia. “The Chosen One” recently said that when the two scrap Maia will not get a hold of his back (Via Bloody Elbow):
“Let me tell you something, Maia, you’re ass ain’t getting on my back when we get ready to scrap,” Woodley said. “You can write that shit all day, you ain’t getting back there, bro.”
Woodley fighting St. Pierre has appeared as a very realistic possibility given the fact that GSP has all but confirmed a return to action in recent memory. If that turns out to be the case, perhaps a bout between Maia and Thompson would make sense next.
Either way, Maia appears to be gunning for Woodley’s neck while “The Chosen One” seems confident that the strap will remain around his waist.