At the ripe age of 38, former middleweight title challenger and current welterweight contender, Demian Maia realizes the four-fight winning streak he currently has going could be the last chance to conquer a UFC belt in his career, so as he sees it, a good win over his next opponent, Matt Brown, should put him right up there for a shot against the champion.
Besides, as he told Combate, he doesn't think the ranking system works that well to truly define a number one contender.
"If we are talking about the sport my title shot is a sure thing, provided I beat Matt Brown. Of course there's the business part, so I can't know for sure. But if he is the number four, five or six welterweight in the rankings makes no difference. That's always changing. We know who is who. There's little difference in the Top 10. It's all about how certain journalists feel about fighters. One day you could be number four and the next one you could be number six. Whoever understands this sport knows that if I win, I should fight for the belt."
With four wins over the likes of Gunnar Nelson, Neil Magny, Ryan LaFlare and Alexander Yakovlev, Maia says another victory over "The Imortal" should seal the deal for him.
"I consider Brown a great muay thai fighter, he has great knees and elbows, so I must do my homework. I haven't studied him yet because the fight has just been scheduled, but it won't be easy. I could win, but I could also get hurt during the fight and lose, because he's an efficient guy. If I win, I'll have eight wins in the weight class and five in a row, against a really tough guy. I think that will secure my title shot."
Demian Maia will fight Matt Brown at UFC Fight Night 87, on May 14 in Brazil. A city has not been determined by the UFC yet. A middleweight fight between middleweight contenders Vitor Belfort and Ronaldo Jacare will be the main event of the evening.