SUPER CHALLENGE UNDER 83KGS TOURNAMENT CHAMPION: DEMIAN MAIA After a huge conquest, the champion of recently created Super Challenge tournament talks to Onthemat.com about his experience of fighting three times in same night and to emerge as champion in the best MMA tournament held in Brazil. The Brasa fighter, Demian Maia, is now a 5-0 fighter with a respectable belt around his waist.
For a comprehensive look at the 10/07 Super Challenge take a look at http://onthemat.com/articles/Super_Challenge__Pride_Enviroment_in_Brazil_10_13_2006.html OnTheMat.com: Since when were you training for that Super Challenge tournament?
Demian Maia: After the Mundials I took a rest during one week and then I started the trainings. I developed a bit of my stand-up, but the focus was in BJJ. OTM: Your team(Brasa) doesn’t have a high reputation in MMA. But always you fight this is done very well. What’s the type of job you do?
DM: This is a beginning. I guess BTT, ChuteBoxe and more recently the GBCT and Lotus MMA had this beginning too. OTM: Who were your main teammates during the trainings for Super Challenge?
DM: Mauro Thimento, RUIZ and Rafael Manteiga- with them I tried to improve my hands and legs, in same time we trained ground game a lot. OTM: You fought MMA twice prior Super Challenge and you never wore a t-shirt. This time, at Super Challenge, you wore one. Tell us the main reason of that. DM: This was because a t-shirt dries my and perspiration and my opponents one. And this worked perfectly for a BJJers like I am. OTM: Do you think the t-shirt confused your opponents? DM: I think it worked. I don’t know if confused any of them, because this wasn’t my goal, but it dried the perspiration the way I desired. OTM: You fought three times to conquer that Super Challenge belt. In your opinion what did you develop more and what you need to develop more for the next fights?
DM: I do need to improve all standing aspects, strikes and takedowns. However I got surprised with my kicks (low and high). I didn’t realize that my legs would reach the target on those situations.
OTM: Talking about the fight you faced first a respected Muay Thai fighter in Katel Kubis. But you schooled him quickly, what did you think about Katel? Was he nervous?
DM: I think he was okay, I got to impose my game. He was the most dangerous striker of whole tournament. So I had a extra caution against him.
OTM: You took his backs quickly, did you have in mind you should sub him fastest possible?
DM: I always fight to submit my opponents. OTM: Your second fight was against Gustavo ‘Ximu’ Machado(who’s also a striker). Did you try the same against him?
DM: The Machado’s game has cadence on the feet, so I was less worried with his striking abilities. Kubis is more aggressive, but Machado has a better ground game. I tried to impose my style once again, my BJJ. OTM: Which was your main focus against Machado at the semifinal?
DM: To not at any strike and bring the fight to my domain. OTM: The R1 of your fight against Machado was a little balanced. You two didn’t much, however Machado had a minor advantage on this R1. Did you realize that or you thought you won the R1?
DM: I attacked him all the time, when I pulled to the guard this was done without any intention of defense. A few times I tried to take him down, he sprawled and I sat down on the ring to bring him to my guard, not to defend myself. In my opinion I was pursuing himaround the ring, so I don’t think I lost R1. Also on the rules meeting the referees’ commission mentioned the fight would be analyzed together and not 2 rounds separately. OTM: R2 was where you dominated all the action and got the mount position. What did lack for you for submitting Machado?
DM: Nothing. I didn’t want to submit him because I wanted to impress the judges, hitting him during 50 seconds. I could try an armbar, but I didn’t want, because I knew the victory was mine. The decision was unanimous in my favor.
OTM: Did these 2×5 rounds minutes let you tired for the finals?
DM: I felt fatigue when I was in backstage. But after 30 minutes I was ready to fight again. OTM: The other semifinal involved Felipe ‘Mongo’ Arinelli (Alexandre Pequeno) and Fabio ‘Negao’ Nascimento (Lotus MMA) and they fought the only fight which went to R3. When you watched this fight, did you realize you could explore the Nascimento’s fatigue?
DM: No doubts about that, this was the idea we had.
OTM: The final fight had a quick outcome with you submitting Nascimento with a guillotine. Did you feel you were in control of that fight since you stepped on the ring?
DM: Yes, I did. He stepped on the ring still tired due to the fight against Arinelli, and he was injured too. OTM: After this huge conquest, what’s your plan?
DM: I want to fight in Japan, this always was my goal.
OTM: Jorge ‘Macaco’ Patino fought a superfight inSuper Challenge and won, and after your conquest hewent to the ring and challenged you. Is this your nexttask at MMA?
DM: Nothing was scheduled, yet.
OTM: Thank you very much, would you like to leave a message?
DM: I’d like to say thank you to Unica Gym and Koral Kimonos. I’d like also to say thank you to Josuel Distak, who’s my MMA coach and Leonardo Castello Branco, who support me in the final of my trainings.