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11th Jan 2017

UFC star Demian Maia will have earned a lot of new fans with his reaction to title shot snub

Taking it like a champ

Ben Kiely

Demian Maia has every right to be pissed off.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is riding a six-fight win-streak in the welterweight division – one of the toughest weight classes in the UFC. After scoring an incredible first round submission over former interim champion Carlos Condit in his last contest, he put his foot down with the matchmakers.

He made it very clear to them during his Octagon interview that he only had eyes for a crack at the title next, and he would be willing to sit on the sidelines until he was offered that fight. Considering he’s just turned 39 and lost his first and only UFC title shot to Anderson Silva when he was a middleweight six ears ago, it’s easy to see why he wants to wait.

When he was watching the result being read out by Bruce Buffer for UFC 205’s co-main event, he must have been tearing his hair out.

Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson going to a majority draw meant that there would almost certainly be an immediate rematch. This of course meant that Maia’s waiting time would increase as the two warriors needed a second fight to decide the championship.

Woodley had maintained that he won the first bout in New York and had been actively campaigning for money fights against Nick Diaz and Michael Bisping after the event. Once it became apparent that those fights weren’t going to come through, the champion then offered Maia his shot, which may or may not have been a negotiation tactic.

However, ultimately the matchmakers decided to go for round two of one of 2016’s fights of the year to headline UFC 209 leaving Maia out in the cold. The Brazilian did not seem upset in the slightest though, as he responded to the news with genuine class.

All he asks is that he gets the call next time.

If Woodley still has that golden strap wrapped around his waist, he may well grant Maia his wish. Although with his incessant campaigns for marquee opponents since winning the belt, Maia probably shouldn’t bank on it.