Demain Maia is currently enjoying a resurgence in form after dropping down to 170lbs and refocusing his fighting style on his world class BJJ skills, and he’s targeting a big name opponent next as he looks to break his way into title contention.

“I think Nick Diaz and Jon Fitch that opponents would surely have much name this division and I would climb fast,” Fitch tells Brazilian site TATAME. “The others, I think they are marked with struggles, but these two guys are certainly very tough and they would have proved much I climb in the division.

I think the two have much jiu-jitsu. Both with Nick as with Fitch. Both are good with that, just that I feel more focused on the Fitch’s wrestling than with his jiu-jitsu, and Nick is a guy more with boxing than jiu-jitsu.”

Hats off to Maia for not attempting to duck tough challenges in the division as both Fitch and Diaz pose significant problems for anyone in the division. In fact it’s rare to hear someone call out Fitch in particular due to his notorious wrestling-heavy, grinding style that’s proven to be highly effective, losing just twice in 17 UFC fights.

Maia’s confidence is high though after having already taken out two respected welterweights in Rick Story and Dong Hyun Kim in the past few months and if he wants to face someone like Fitch next then I can’t see any reason right now why the UFC would stand in his way as it’s a meaningful match-up for both men.

Diaz is a possibility too, though less realistic as he’s still to see out the remainder of his drugs suspension which means he won’t be eligible to fight again until February of next year.