At 38 years of age, UFC veteran Demian Maia appears to have gotten a second wind in his career.
After a relatively unsuccessful stint at middleweight, the former ADCC and World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion decided to move down to 170-pounds, where he has seemingly found his new home.
Currently, he is 7-2 as a welterweight, and is enjoying a four-fight winning streak.
Maia’s most recent win came against fellow grappling champion Gunnar Nelson at UFC 194 last December, where he put on a dominant performance en route to a unanimous decision verdict.
Given his current string of victories, Maia rightfully feels there is no other way to go but contend for the title next.
"I want to fight with somebody that takes me to the title if I win," Maia said during a short media scrum at UFC 195. "I think the fights would make more sense would be Woodley or Matt Brown, who is tied near with me in the rankings and Woodley also."
"That's the fights that would make more sense, but, of course, if I can choose today, I would say I don't want to fight with those guys. I want to fight for a title."
Maia is no stranger to monumental title fights, as he has fought in one against Anderson Silva in 2010. While the said bout did not go the way he intended it to, the Brazilian fighter feels it would be different this time around, after six more years of experience under his belt.
"I just feel like I’m just more matured than last time," he explained. "That was almost six years ago. It was April 2010. In this time frame, you change, completely. Especially [because] I am a guy who likes to learn. I love this sport, I love jiu-jitsu, I love MMA, and I love to learn everyday."
"In that fight, I came in totally as an underdog," he continued. "And if I go to a [title] fight again, even if I’m not the favorite, everybody will know that I got the chance to win. Everybody will know that if I take the fight to the ground, I got a chance to win, a big chance. And I believe that."