Demain Maia completely dominanted Jon Fitch on the mat tonight at UFC 156, grinding him down over 15 minutes to claim a unanimous decision victory.
Maia immediately goes for the takedown in the opening round, pressing him up against the cage and then gets him to the mat. He goes for his back, but Fitch stands up.
Maia stays attached to his back though up against the cage with the body triangle keeping him in place. He’s looking for a chance to get his arm under the chin for the choke, but Fitch is defending.
Three minutes in and Maia’s not able to ge the position to work, so he slips off his back, but stays in this dominant position. Fitch goes down to one knee and Maia lands some ground and pound and then climbs back onto his back and sets in the body triangle again.
Fitch down to both knees now as Maia works some ground and pound until the end of the round.
All Maia in the first round then, and it’s down to Fitch to find a way into this fight in the second. He looks to do so with striking early in the round, landing a few nice kicks.
Maia goes for another takedown and lands it, but he can’t keep Fitch down this time. Fitch looks to strike again, but Maia gets him back down to the mat, taking his back and is essentially back in the same position as he had in the first, locking him in with the body triangle again.
Half way through the round Maia goes for the rear-naked choke, but Fitch is able to fight off the attempt. Nevertheless it’s all Maia so far and we’ve never seen Fitch dominated on the ground like this before.
Maia remains persistent trying to find a way to sink in the choke, but is unable to and has to settle for just complete control of his opponent.
Fitch’s cornermen urge him to go for the knockout in-between rounds and it’s into the final five minutes we go. Fitch comes out of the blocks looking for a big head kick, but it doesn’t quite connect and Maia’s immediately looking for the takedown.
He presses him up against the cage and works hard for it, but Fitch stays upright. Maia’s able to spin to his back though and Fitch goes down to one knee, and lo-and-behold he’s back to the same position that he’s been working from in the previous two rounds.
This time Fitch manages to break free though and gets back up. Then the roles are reversed as it’s Fitch who finally gets on top and looks for a guillotine. Nothing doing, but he maintains top control and lands a few punches.
Fitch’s usual stifling wrestling isn’t enough to keep Maia from standing up though and he’s looking for a takedown himself. Initially he doesn’t get it, but after the two reset he barrels forward again and this time gets him down and works his way back to his favored position latched to his back, though in literally the final second of the fight he secures full mount.
Onto the scorecards then and it’s absolutely no surprise to learn that Maia has secured the decision unanimously (30-27 x3).
Not the most exciting fight, but nonetheless fascinating to see Maia become the first fighter to basically give Fitch a dose of his own medicine by completely outgrappling him and grinding him down for 15 minutes.
It was a smart decision to revert back to his BJJ roots in the last year and as a result the Brazilian remains unbeaten at 170lbs and having taken out one of the toughest fighters in the division he now stands out as a real contender.