Demian Maia definitely proved himself to be the better grappler against Gunnar Nelson tonight at UFC 194 with a comprehensive unanimous decision victory in Las Vegas.
Maia feeling out with the jab then immdiately goes for a takedown. Big statement from him, but Nelson is stuffing this shot and thend ends up on top for a moment as they hit the mat. Maia pops straight back up to his feet though.
They remain in the clinch for now and Maia goes in for a single leg. Nelson doing well to defend this as they move across the cage. Maia eventually goes for a trip from the single leg, but Nelson ends up on top again. Impressive. Nelson steps over Maia trying to improve position, but Maia stands and is right back looking for a takedown. Nelson’s back is exposed and Nelson immediately hops on to it.
Maia working while attached to his back. Nelson drops down to the mat, but can’t escape and Maia moves to full mount. Bad spot for Nelson who tries to scramble out. Maia remains on top for now, but Nelson scrambles once again. Maia moves to the back and locks in there with Nelson half trying to stand.
Maia chipping away at him with a few punches as they stay in this position. Nelson drops back to the mat, but Maia has the body lock cinched up and maintains position. Nelson has a bloodied nose from Maia’s strikes.
Maia landing a few elbows now. Suddenly Maia is going for an armbar. It looks good, but Nelson spins away and ends up on top! High level BJJ action on display here. Nelson ends the round trying to pass Maia’s guard. Grappling clinic from both men so far, but Maia is a step ahead overall!
Nelson with a right hand. Maia lands to the chin. Maia steps in with another punch. Nelson in on a single leg. He tries to take Nelson down and almost does so, but Nelson ends up on top. Maia scrambles back up and continues to try to take his opponent down.
Maia almost getting to Nelson’s back now as Nelson gets warned to stop holding the cage. Eventually Nelson does go to his knees and Maia secures himself on his back. Nelson stands with Maia still attached with the body lock. Nelson leaning against the cage and Maia lands a few hard shots to the body.
Nelson goes to the mat and Maia starts clocking him with punches to the head. Nelson to his knees as he continues to get peppered with shots. He rolls and ends up on top in Maia’s full guard. Nelson quickly looking to pass, but there’s a scramble and Maia is back on top in Nelson’s full guard.
A little over a minute to go in the round. Maia starts to chip away with ground and pound. Maia moves to full guard and drops down some hard elbows to the head. Maia smoothly slides into full mount and ends the round landing some heavy elbows. Great work from the BJJ wizard.
Maia pushing forward and lands a left hand. He moves into the takedown and gets the fight to the mat, but he doesn’t have top control and Nelson scrambles. Nelson almost gets on top, but Maia is just so good and manages to gain the superior position.
Maia looking to pass his opponent’s butterfly guard. In half guard for now he drops down some big elbows. Now a knee to the body. Maia gets Nelson’s back. He rolls to his back with Nelson trapped in his body lock and starts landing punches to the ribs. He continues to do that. Now a few hammerfists to the head, then back to the ribs.
Now Nelson going for the rear-naked choke, but he doesn’t have it under the chin so he goes back to ground and pound punches to the head. Final 20 seconds and Nelson suddenly manages to spin around and ends up on top, but there’s not enough time left to do anything with it.
Well, there we have it. Everyone wondered how this fight would go if these two went to the mat and know we know – Nelson is good, but Maia is just on another level, showing why he’s considered one of the best of all time when it comes to BJJ. His domination on the mat leads to judges scoring 10-8 rounds in his favor for a comprehensive unanimous decision victory (30-26, 30-25 x2).