5 Questions for Demian Maia

Demian Maia saw his 11-fight winning streak come grinding to a halt at UFC 102 “Couture vs. Nogueira” on Saturday at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore., victimized by a Nate Marquardt right hand just 21 seconds into their anticipated middleweight tilt.

Mere hours after suffering the first loss of his mixed martial arts career, Maia spoke to Sherdog.com about the defeat and his immediate future.

Sherdog: How do you feel after your first loss?
Maia: I knew the first loss would come one day because I intend to fight for many years. As a matter of fact, though, it happened in a pretty unexpected manner because I was a little bit casual in the stand-up fight. I repeated two kicks. He got my timing down, and, the third time, he came with a straight punch and knocked me down. At the beginning of the fight, everyone is really strong, and I think the referee was right to stop the fight. I stood up well. I had no damage, and that’s most important. I pretty much believe that some things must happen in your life. For some reason, God prepares surprises for you, and that’s life. Maybe it was not the right time for me to challenge for the belt, but I’m very calm and will keep going.

Sherdog: Has UFC President Dana White said anything to you about your next opponent?
Maia: No. We just returned from the event, and it’s too soon to talk about the next fight. I’ve just fought. Let’s see what happens. This was my 12th fight. All my other fights ended by submission. Today, it happened, and I cannot say it was an accident because he had the right strategy and punched me at the right moment. But a punch to the chin, like the one I took at the beginning of the fight, is probably the only defeat you cannot make comments about. I cannot complain about anything. Now, I just have to stand up, train hard and be ready for the next challenge.

Sherdog: Are you planning to go to the next Abu Dhabi Combat Club event?
Maia: No. Now, I’m just planning a 10-day vacation, because I trained so hard for this fight, so I think it will be too close to compete at ADCC. I’m going to be in Europe for a series of seminars by that time, and I probably will go there to see the event. But I’m not going to compete because my priority is the UFC, and I must be 100 percent if I want to fight at the end of the year.

Sherdog: What can you say about Marquardt? Is he as strong as everybody says?
Maia: Actually, I didn’t even have time to get a feel for him. I hope we have a chance to face each other again in the near future.

Sherdog: Who would have a better chance against Anderson Silva -- Dan Henderson or Marquardt?
Maia: Comparing the styles, I believe Dan Henderson has a better chance because he is a better wrestler who has more of a chance to take down Anderson and give him a harder time. Nate is a jiu-jitsu black belt, but his focus today is much more on the stand-up fight. And in the stand-up fight, I don’t believe he can have a good fight against Anderson. I also don’t see him taking down Anderson, but Nate is a very tough guy and anything can happen.
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