Demian Maia is a Brazilian trained mixed martial artist and Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. He is known to be one of the best welterweight fighters around the world. Five-time Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, he has a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in welterweight category. He has been trained in Judo, Karate, and Kung Fu besides Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is also known for being one of the best ground experts and gained fame for being the best grappler. Being inspired by fellow BJJ artists and UFC Hall of Famer, Royce Gracie and Rickson Gracie, Demian decided to take up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as his main art form. He has fought a number of renowned fighters including Rick Story, Chael Sonnen and Ryan LaFlare. He is still remembered for his MMA debut when he defeated his opponent with a technical knockout in just 48 seconds. For that, he ended up winning four times for the Entry of the Night. Currently, Damian stands first in the official UFC welterweight rankings.
Childhood & Early Life
Demian Maia was born Demian Augusto Maia Baptista on November 6, 1977 in São Paulo, Brazil. The name of his father is Guto Maia but very little is known about his mother.
He started developing interest in martial arts at quite a young age, and started practicing Judo when he was 4 years old. By the time he reached 6, he had developed a liking for the more traditional forms of martial arts like Karate and Kung Fu.
At 19 years of age, Demian was introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu popularly known as BJJ. It was around the same time when he graduated from college with a degree in Journalism.
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Shortly after being introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he entered Fabio Araujo’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy to start his training. Fabio Araujo was a brown belt holder trained under Carlson Gracie, a renowned BJJ fighter.
Demian made his debut into the world of fighting in 2001 opposite Raul Sosa in Venezuela and defeated Sosa in 48 seconds with a technical knockout.
After taking a break that lasted around four years, Demian returned to demonstrate his submissive prowess and defeated Lukasz Chewlicki by armbar. This was at The Cage Vol. 4 – Redemption fights.
In 2007, he signed a contract with Ultimate Fighting Championship and fought with Ryan Jensen of Team Quest and defeated him with a rear naked choke. In his later fights with Ed Herman and Jason MacDonald, Demian defeated both of them into submission.
In 2009, Demian defeated Nate Quarry, a heavy-handed striker and Chael Sonnen, UFC middleweight title contender. Later that year, during August Demian was knocked out by a straight right hand delivered by his opponent Nate Marquardt. This was his first career loss.
In 2010, Demian faced Dan Miller and won the fight through unanimous decision. He also fought Kendall Grove and won by unanimous decision. In 2011, he lost to Mark Muñoz in a close contest. He defeated Jorge Santiago by unanimous decision later the same year.
After his decision to drop to the 170-pound welterweight division, Demian saw a series of wins against some of the greatest players in the history of the sport. In 2012, he won against Rick Story forcing him into submission.
In 2013, he lost to Joke Shields, another Jiu-Jitsu practitioner in a close match. In 2014, in a match against Rory McDonald, Demian lost the match by unanimous decision but secured his first Fight of the Night Award.
Demian was on a winning streak in 2015, winning fights against Ryan LaFlare, Neil Magny and Gunnar Nelson. In 2016, Demian continued to win showing off his ground skills against Matt Brown and Carlos Condit.
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He won against Jorge Masvidal in May 2017. He is set to fight champion Tyron Woodley in July 2017.
Awards & Achievements
He earned his first black belt after just four years of training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He received this honor at the hands of 8-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion – Fábio Gurgel.
In 2000, he ranked first at the Brown Belt Medio-Pesado at the BJJ World Championships.
In 2001, he stood second at the Brown Belt Medio-Pesado at the BJJ World Championships. In the BJJ Brazilian Championships he came in the first place at the Brown Belt Medio-Pesado.
He is also a one-time holder of the Fight of the Night award under UFC. He has won the Performance of the Night award two times and Submission of the Night four times; all under UFC.
In 2001, during his debut fight, he knocked out Raul Sosa in 48 seconds at the Torments en el Ring held in Caracas, Venezuela. He came into spotlight after this fight and won a number of awards for the best entry.
In 2007, he won three consecutive Submission of the Night awards. He defeated Ryan Jensen with a rare naked choke in the first round. He then fought and defeated Ed Herman into submission by a mounted triangle choke at 2:27. He took on Jason McDonald, a fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and defeated him at 2:44 by rear naked choke.
In 2009, after his win over Chael Sonnen by 5-0, Demian was called as the best functional grappler in MMA. His unusual style, pure BJJ moves and submissive prowess earned him the title.
Demian has often been called the best ground fighter in UFC. He has also won the title of ADCC World Submission Wrestling Champion and has a total of 4 Submission of the Night Awards at UFC.
He won the 2006 Pan American Championship.
In 2007, he was crowned the 2007 Super Challenge Champion in under – 83 kg division, by earning three victories in a single night.
He was named Newcomer of the Year by FIGHT! Magazine in 2008.
In 2014, his fight versus Rory MacDonald was titled the February Fight of the Month. In the next year, he won Sherdog’s Comeback Fighter of the Year.
In 2005, Demian got married to Renata. She works for a Brazilian magazine. In 2011, the couple welcomed their first child, a girl named Pietra Vieira Maia. In March 2013, the couple’s second child, a boy, was born. The baby is named Lorenzo. Demian announced the new member’s arrival via Twitter.
Demian is quite a philosophical person in real life. He likes to take up new challenges and loves training his body for the fights. He also trains his brain to overcome occasional frights and nervousness. He describes himself as a competitive person and maintains a calm approach during each of his fights.
He speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Demian’s current net worth is estimated to be $840,000.