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Demian Maia says UFC tried to use him as 'stepping stone', but it didn't work

Demian Maia talks about all the prospects he had to face before he got an elite challenger in Matt Brown at UFC 198, on May 14.

Demian Maia via USA TODAY Sports
Demian Maia via USA TODAY Sports
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Demian Maia is done proving himself against welterweight prospects. As he told Combate, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace is past being a stepping stone for the division and wants his own title shot if he defeats Matt Brown at UFC 198.

"I always want to take top 10 or top 5 guys. Always. But in my last fights, they kept giving me these rising prospects that many people thought could beat me. But I beat them all, one after the other. First it was (Ryan) LaFlare, then (Neil) Magny and then Gunnar Nelson.

"In those fights, I had the impression they were trying to use me as a stepping stone. I beat them all convincingly. Now I have the chance to fight Matt Brown, a really tough guy. But it doesn't matter who I fight. With my arsenal, I believe I can beat everybody in the division. That's why I want a title shot if I beat Brown."

Demian Maia is currently on a four-fight win streak and will look to make it five when he meets Matt Brown in the preliminary portion of UFC 198, in Curitiba, Brazil, on May 14. The card will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between champion Fabricio Werdum and challenger Stipe Miocic.