Demian Maia and Jon Fitch will engage in a grappler's MMA dream match this weekend at UFC 156 in Vegas, and a lot of people are excited about it. Maia and Fitch both spoke to ESPN about their battle, and Maia said that he has a 'dream" about how he wants the fight to turn out. First off though, he discusses why he dropped to 170:
"I needed to be reborn. I felt when I was hitting guys or going for a takedown at 185, sometimes it was like hitting a wall. Now in this weight division, it's more fair for me."
He also gave a brief description of what he sees in Fitch:
"He's able to mentally break his opponents because his will is big. There are other wrestlers with big wills, but I think he has one of the biggest wills. So you need to be aware because he comes to break you."
And he discusses his recent switch back to the grappling side of things, after engaging in a few boxing matches before the drop to 170:
"Now that I learned I'm able to do well with boxing, I was able to train more jiu-jitsu again. I've come back to my grappling."
For his part, Fitch knows he's in there with the biggest submission threat of his career. He said he was surprised at how big Maia was when they both fought in Rio at UFC 153, and describes the closest he's ever been to tapping in the octagon, which was when he was stuck in a triangle against Diego Sanchez in 2007:
"I didn't panic so much as worry against Sanchez," Fitch said. "It was late in the fight and I was stuck against the fence, in a position where I couldn't defend properly -- he already had the angle. But he didn't have it on tight and I just postured out."
The article closed out with Maia discussing his 'dream' - a quick submission win:
My dream is to take the fight down in the first minute and submit Fitch. That's my dream and I hope it comes true."
I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen in that bout, and that makes it the most anticipated matchup on the UFC 156 card for me.