Demian Maia: Fans need to realise MMA is a sport, not entertainment

The UFC welterweight hit back at those criticizing his fighting style after another his first round submission over Carlos Condit last week

Demian Maia

Image: John Locher / AP/Press Association Images

UFC welterweight Demian Maia has hit back at those who have criticised his fighting style and says that mixed martial arts fans should focus more on the winners of the fight rather than style of the competitors.

Maia notched his sixth consecutive UFC victory with a submission victory over Carlos Condit and moved him tied for second for most submission victories in UFC history. 

The 38-year-old is on of the most accomplished ground fighters in the world and has scored half of his wins in the UFC via submission, tied with Nate Diaz on nine. He says his tactics should not be branded as simply boring.

"To become a real sport, (MMA) needs to be more seen and held as a sport, not as a show," Maia told MMAJunkie Radio.

"We want to see MMA grow and to keep growing for the next 100 years and be a big sport like basketball, football, soccer, we need to hold it as a sport. The goal of a sport is one goal, it is to win.

"You watch a tennis match because you want to see who is going to win, who is the winner, not who plays this style or this style. If you watch NFL (the team in the finals is not) the guy who plays a more interesting game or the game you like most. You’re going to put the winners. And that’s why those are sports and they are growing sports. If you like the sport, you like the sport."

Maia has the most wins of any Brazilian competing in the UFC and is widely regarded as one of the promotion's top jiu-jitsu practioners.  

"They need to read what sport they’re going too, I hope they know how to read. If they know how to read, they should read they are going to watch MMA and not something else. Not boxing, not kickboxing. Also, if they like the show, they can always go to WWE and watch those fights. If they’re a little bit smarter than that they can learn and become real fans."

He continued: "There are some fights that are boring on the ground or in the stand-up they are boring. When the fight is there they are boring in the stand-up, but it can be a little more exciting. When it’s boring on the ground it’s just boring, I understand. I try to do my best, but people have to understand I am fighting at a really high level and sometimes it’s hard to jump on the back and get people out. … It’s the same in all sports. It’s not always crazy exciting."

His victory over Condit has put him in the running for a title shot in the welterweight division, alongside Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson, Robbie Lawler and outside chance Donald Cerrone who has excelled since moving up in weight.

"I think I did a great fight. I submitted in less than two minutes the former (interim) champion Carlos Condit. I think I made a statement in my last fight. I have nine wins in the welterweight division."

Via MMAJunkie