UFC 102 Preview: Is Nate Marquardt Really Ready for Demian Maia's Jiu Jitsu?

Obviously you have your fair share of submission wins, but is it even worth the risk for you to go to the ground with him?
That's something I can't answer until I get in the fight, to be honest, because if the opportunity presents itself with him and we land there, and I feel comfortable and do some damage, I'm experienced enough that I'm not going to make some silly mistake and get caught in a triangle or something like that. The triangle that I have to worry about is the one he sets up. If I feel like he's setting stuff up, I'm going to try to get back to my feet, but if I'm doing damage, I'm going to keep doing damage.

Are there certain things he tends to repeat in his submission setups?
Oh yeah, everyone has their setups, whether you're standing, or with takedowns, or on the ground. That's the difference between an amateur or a pro, or a great fighter. They don't just try to hit you; they try to trick you to move a certain way so they can hit you harder. And it's the same thing with submissions. If he wants to push you, he's going to pull you first so you react. That's how great fighters are. They set things up to try to trick you into moving the way they want you to. And he's very good at that.

All of Maia's UFC wins are by submission. Do you view him as being one-dimensional?
I'd say somewhat. He has a couple good takedowns that he does, and I'm sure he's improving everything that he can. His standup, even though he's fairly new at it and is not as experienced as I am, he throws everything with power behind it. So I have to respect all parts of his game. I have to be ready for all areas.

Nate Marquardt talking to Mike Chiappetta about his UFC 102 opponent Demian Maia.

I have to say, as much as I'm emotionally invested in the outcome of the Randy Couture vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fight, the Marquardt vs Maia fight is far and away the most intriguing bout on the card. A year ago I would've been less excited, but since then we've seen Marquardt recreate himself as a go for the kill standup fighter with an arsenal of brutal and unconventional striking techniques and Maia has emerged as a jiu jitsu ace with a difference -- he can get the fight to the ground even against wrestlers who don't want to go down.

We've discussed some of Maia's set ups to submissions in the past. For convenient reference, I've popped a very juicy set up to triangle move that Maia pulled on both Ed Herman and Jason MacDonald in the full entry. There's also a sweet HL video covering "The Science of Demian Maia's Jiu Jitsu" in the full entry.

I've also done a full Judo Chop on Maia's amazing takedown of Nate Quarry at UFC 91. It's well worth a read for anyone who wants to see what kind of "good takedowns" Marquardt is going to be concerned with this Saturday.


Our own Mike Fagan commented on this tasty setup by Demian Maia against Ed Herman:

The GIF is from the fight with Ed Herman, and is the first of two times he pulled off this technique in that fight.  He hit it again last night against Jason MacDonald, and I marked out pretty hard for it.

I wanted to point it out because it shows just how advanced his BJJ game is.  He starts by allowing his opponent to start passing his guard.  While Herman tries to push Maia's knee to the mat, Demian grabs wrist control and extends his arm forward.  When Herman posts up on his left side, Maia brings his right leg back towards his head and then up around Herman's controlled arm into a triangle.

To those who listened to Luke's MMA Nation show last week, THIS is an example of world-class jiu jitsu.

Here's a sweet highlight video of Demian Maia's JJ technique from KahL on the UG (HT MMA Convert)




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