UFC title shots are rarely guaranteed, but the winner of the bout between #JorgeMasvidal and #DemianMaia at #UFC211 will almost assuredly feel wronged if they don’t receive a shot at the gold later this year.
Maia has been around the UFC welterweight title talk for a long time and feels unlucky to have been kept on the sidelines whilst the feud between Stephen Thompson and Tyron Woodley played out. With that chapter now closed and the champion awaiting his next challenger, the door is now open for Masvidal or Maia to stake their claim for a title fight.
“Nothing’s written on paper and if it’s not written on paper, my brother, it means s*it to me,” Masvidal said. “They could turn around and [say] GSP’s coming to 170 now and boom, Jorge, you got sidelined. That could happen. Maybe another WWE star crosses over. Who knows. A bunch of craziness and madness. But, if anybody’s more deserving of a title shot than Maia, it blows my mind. Now, if I beat Maia – because Maia’s clearly the number one contender in my head – if I beat Maia, if I’m not the most deserving dude for that title, then you know there’s just too much politics involved in it. It’s just too much [about] who can sell the most, who this, who that. I don’t see them skipping me if I beat Maia, especially if I do my job. I don’t see them bypassing me. Anything can happen in this sport.”
While there is plenty of talk going around about the fight being a title eliminator, Masvidal said he isn’t being distracted from the job at hand. The #AmericanTopTeam man knows that at UFC 211, he’s going to have to be at his best to beat Maia, but he’s fully confident he’s going to get the job done.
“Demian Maia is a one-bladed sword,” Masvidal said. “He’s a dude that’s good at only one thing. [It’s] almost damn near impossible for these low-level grapplers. You know, guys that wrestle back into him, he’s like a god to them because he’s going to get them down to the mats. But when you got somebody like me that can wrestle back into a dude, it’s a problem. You’ve seen me fight good grapplers. They spend more time on their back than I do. Nobody’s ever taken me down in the UFC and ridden me out. And what I mean [by] ridden out, like 30 seconds or more, you know, and that’s probably like the longest I’ve been on my back.”
Masvidal believes the key to victory at UFC 211 will be showing Maia he can live with him on the mat and breaking him mentally.
“It’s not going to be no different with Maia,” Masvidal said. “He’s going to get to my legs, we’re going to scramble and I’m going to continue to out-scramble him. And when he feels that pressure, when he feels, ‘hey man, I’m wrestling here with a guy that knows how to wrestle,’ that’s what’s going to kill him in the mind because he probably thinks I can’t wrestle or probably does know I can wrestle and he’s going to drop guard. Either way, this is not going to be his night.”
UFC 211 goes down on May 13 and will be headlined by a UFC heavyweight title fight between the champion, Stipe Miocic and the challenger, Junior dos Santos. Masvidal vs. Maia will be the third fight on the pay-per-view portion of the fight card.
UFC 211 Fight Card
Pay-Per-View Main Card
- Stipe Miocic vs. Junior dos Santos - UFC heavyweight title fight
- Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs. Jéssica Andrade - UFC strawweight title fight
- Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal
- Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez
- Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
- Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier
- Chas Skelly vs. Jason Knight
- David Branch vs. Krzysztof Jotko
- James Vick vs. Polo Reyes
UFC Fight Pass Card
- Jessica Aguilar vs. Cortney Casey
- Enrique Barzola vs. Gabriel Benitez
- D. Poberezhets vs. Chase Sherman
- Jared Gordon vs. Michel Quinones