So far, UFC 214’s narrative has been mainly about the intense rivalry between light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and former champ Jon Jones. Rightfully so, as this rematch is over two years in the making.
However, the sleeper co-main event is welterweight champion Tyron Woodley against jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia. This is a fight that not only deserves our attention, but just might be a scene-stealer of the night.
Since destroying his American Top Team teammate Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 and taking his belt, Woodley was mainly embroiled in “woke” wars with the fans and his tug of war matches with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. The two fought twice, resulting in a draw and then a Woodley win. His next challenge is Maia, who is as silent as he is deadly on the ground.
Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley promises to steal the show at one of the biggest cards of the year when he takes on #1 ranked Demian Maia at UFC 214: Cormier vs Jones 2 this Saturday on PPV.
Don’t let the near radio silence from this opponent fool you, Maia is the real deal. The multiple time submission grappling champion has beaten notables like Ronald “Jacare” Souza, Yushin Okami, Flavio Almeida and Gabriel Gonzaga twice in international jiu-jitsu competition.
Maia finished his first five opponents in the UFC via submission with most of the wins coming in the first round. He has only been finished once by Nate Marquardt by a first round TKO back in 2009. Since then, his losses to Anderson Silva, Mark Munoz, Chris Weidman, Jake Shields and, Rory MacDonald all came from decisions.
Watch Demian Maia’s Performance of the Night victory over Neil Magny back in 2015 in the middle of Maia’s current seven-fight win streak. Maia faces Tyron Woodley in the co-main event of UFC 214 for the welterweight championship.
Woodley, who is a former University of Missouri wrestler, won his first five pro fights by submission and has since been unleashing his mix of takedowns and knockout power on all comers. He also took decision losses to Jake Shields and Rory MacDonald, and was knocked out viciously by Nate Marquardt, so both he and Maia have some shared susceptibilities.
However, Woodley has definitely elevated his game since winning the belt. He also has been very vocal about his desire to remain the champion and believes he performs best when he is not the headliner of a big fight card. That reference would give a nod to his first round TKO over Dong Hyun Kim in Macao back in 2014 and his spectacular draw with Thompson at UFC’s debut in Madison Square Garden last November.
In the UFC 214 co-main event, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley readies to face jiu-jitsu master Demian Maia, who patiently racked up seven straight wins en route to his second UFC title shot.
Maia’s split decision win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 211 in May doesn’t tell the whole story of how he dominated the rising Masvidal, who was on his way to a guaranteed title shot until the loss. Maia also challenged Anderson Silva during the height of his middleweight prowess before dropping down to welterweight. Although Woodley has never been submitted, Maia is the only candidate that possibly could finish him that way.
With a fight with a returning George St. Pierre on the horizon for the winner, UFC 214’s co-main event is worth watching and might rival the main event.