Demian Maia is no stranger to Chael Sonnen, having submitted him in just over 2:30 when they met at UFC 95. Being Brazilian also makes Maia a target in Sonnen's trademark anti-Brazil rants.
So one might think that Maia would not be Sonnen's biggest fan. But in a recent article on SporTV, Maia was actually extremely complimentary when discussing Chael and their interactions (translation by Tom Mendes):
We have talked a few times. I think he's very intelligent, he knows what to say. I think he sometimes pushes the envelope, but he's good in attracting the media to himself. He's a very tough fighter, and deserves to fight for the title. I have nothing against him, and it's obvious that you don't need more than two brain cells to see that he's joking. I told him that he should become a comedian. There's a lot of passion in the sport, and there are people that don't like him. He has his style, he's more conservative, different than myself. But I think Sonnen is a very intelligent guy.
So I guess we can count Maia among the group that "gets it" when it comes to the Sonnen act.
Sonnen faces Michael Bisping at Saturday's UFC on Fox 2 card while Maia will compete on the same card against Chris Weidman.