Demian Maia - 5th Degree BJJ Black Belt and UFC Champion

Demian Maia - 5th Degree BJJ Black Belt and UFC Champion

1. Demian Maia Details

Demian Maia Details
Name  Demian Augusto Maia Baptista
Nickname   Maia
Born São Paulo, Brazil
Current Residence  N/A
Date of Birth 6 November 1977
Nationality  Brazilian
College/University Cásper Líbero
Last Fight Spyder RTBB 2023
Last Weigh In  170.5 lbs
Weight Class  BJJ - Médio (Middleweight) 82 Kg-181 Lbs
MMA – Middleweight & Welterweight
Weight 170 lb (77 kg)
Height 6.1 ft (186 cm)
Reach  72 in
Career Disclosed Earnings N/A
Fighting out of Brazil
Foundational style  Judo, Karate, Kung-Fu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
FavoriteTechnique  Triangle Choke
Rank   5th degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Awarded By   Master Fabio Gurgel
Head Coach  Master Fabio Gurgel
Lineage Mitsuyo "Count Koma" Maeda → Carlos Gracie, Sr. → Helio GracieRolls Gracie → Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti → Fabio Gurgel → Demian Maia
Team/Association Brasa Clube de Jiu-Jitsu

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2. Demian Maia’s Biography

Demian Maia is a Brazilian fighter recognized as a leading MMA fighter and Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. He is a five times Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion. Being inspired by Royce and Rickson Gracies, he decided to start practicing Jiu-Jitsu as the foundation for his martial arts career. He was proficient enough in executing judo, karate, and kung fu techniques. Maia’s MMA debut fight is still one of his best victories in the MMA world where he finished the match in just 48 seconds with a technical knockout.

2.1. Early Years Life

Demian Maia is a Brazilian who was born on 6th November 1977 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His full name is Demian Augusto Maia Baptista and his father's name is Guto Maia. His mother belongs to Russia. Demian and his younger brother were very active in their childhood. He shared in one of his interviews that:

"I started training judo when I was 5 years old. I didn't know much. My mom just took me and my brother to do some judo because we were very energetic. We did that for a couple of years. I don't know why we stopped, but I came back to try other forms of martial arts like Kung Fu and karate when I was 12 and never stopped.”

2.2. Entering the World Of Martial Arts

His martial arts journey moved further when he reached the age of 19. After completing his graduation in journalism, Demian started learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

"I switched from kung fu to Jiu-Jitsu [at 19 years old] because I was watching some fights and the Jiu-Jitsu guys were winning everything. I said to myself, 'I want to do that.' It wanted to become a Brazilian martial artist, so the culture was bigger here [in São Paulo] than a traditional martial art from the East. As soon as I started, I fell in love with jiu-jitsu.”

2.3. Devotion to Jiu-Jitsu

Demian started his BJJ training at Fabio Araujos Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy. It was an honor for Fabio to train under Carlson Gracie and earn the Brown Belt rank.

"The first month, I was training once a day, but then after a couple of months, I started training at least twice a day. Sometimes I was also lifting weights, which I never did before. I was living jiu-jitsu.”

2.4. Entry in MMA

Demian's debut fight in the “Tormenta Del Ring” tournament in Venezuela with Rail Sosa turned into a victory in 48 seconds with TKO.

"I had my first professional fight in 2001 in Venezuela -- it was also my first international trip away from Brazil. It was a great experience. Then in 2005, I went to Finland and won. The next year there was a tournament in Brazil with three fights in one night. I was the underdog and won all three fights.”

In 2007, Demian fought and won some fights in Ohio. After the cancellation of the deal with K-1, Demian signed a contract with UFC. He nailed Ryan Jensen of Team Quest with a Rear Naked Choke and forced Ed Herman and Jason MacDonald to submission in the later fights.

2.5. A First Loss and Ties

Demian experienced his first career loss in 2009 while striking and grappling with his opponent Nate Marquardt.

In 2010, Demian defeated Dan Miller and Kendall Grove through unanimous decisions. In 2011, losing a 15-minute battle with Mark Munoz was a big surprise for everyone.

Then later in 2011, Damian defeated Jorge Satiago by unanimous decision. Santiago was highly skilled in Jiu-Jitsu but was defeated. On the other side, Santiago had more success while standing and striking.

After that, Demian decided to drop to the welterweight division of 170 pounds. Then he earned a series of wins against renowned fighters.

On Oct 12, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, the remarkable fight against Rick Story was worth mentioning. Maia’s Rear Naked Choke was lethal.

In 2013, he lost the fight against Jake Shields. Then in 2014, Demian was defeated by Rory MacDonald by a unanimous decision but won the Fight of the Night Award.

Moving forward, in 2015 and 2016, Demian secured a number of wins against highly skilled fighters like Matt Brown and Carlos Condit.

Damian won against Masvidal in 2017 and then was set back by Tyron Woodley in 2017.

2.6. Pro BJJ Combat

Demian took a keen interest in Jiu-Jitsu during his college days. He practiced BJJ three times a day while studying journalism. Training under brown belt Fabio Araujo motivated Demian to excel his skills in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Before achieving the black belt, Demian achieved the title of world champion in 2000 with a Purple Belt ranking and then in 2001 with Brown Belt. From 2002 to 2005 he consecutively won the championships.

As a Purple Belt, Demian became a World Champion in 2000. In 2001, Demian won a Brown Belt Championship. Demian did not break his streak and went on claiming the World Champion title till 2005. Demian Maia nearly took five years, precisely four years and seven months, to achieve his BJJ black belt, which was a record in itself in Jiu-Jitsu history.

2.7. Winning the ADCC Bronze

Demians Maia’s life changed when he decided to compete in ADCC. That was the turning

point of his career. Fighting under the 88 kg weight division was the second attempt after previously losing a match to Ronaldo Jacare.

In the first match, Demian easily defeated the grappler Yushin Okami by pulling a guard.

Second match was a real tough one against Rafael Lovato Jr. He was highly skilled BJJ fighter, but Demian was successful in defeating Rafael.

2.8. A New Beginning

At the 2007 ADCC semifinals, Demian was scheduled to fight against Tarsis Humphreys. Demian and Tarsis were friends for a very long time which is why the match was a little tough for both guys. Demian started the match with a slow pace but in the end won the fight via points.

After winning the semifinals, Demian went into the finals with the aim to become ADCC World Champion. His final match was with Flavio Almeida who is himself an accomplished grappler. He is famous for defeating professional grapplers such as Romulo Barral, Sauli Helimo and Rick Macauley.

Demian is famous for his slow defensive game, carried the same style throughout the fight and won the fight via an Armbar submission. Demian’s guards were the most spectacular technique in the fight that made the whole audience gaze with admiration. He then became the ADCC World Champion. His perfect balance between guards and sweeps was the most fascinating part of the fight.

The next match with Tarsis Humphreys was a challenge. Tarsis was an old friend of Demian. Demian with mixed feelings followed the slow pace strategy, misunderstood by the opponent and finally, Demian’s victory was announced.

Now, for Demian, everything was going fine. This time in the finals, his opponent was Flavio Almeida who had defeated the pro-BJJ players like Romulo Barral, Sauli Hellimo, and Rick Macauley. Maia followed the same slow pace strategy to secure his guard and eventually won the match with arm lock submission.

It was the time when Demian was positioned as the ADCC world champion. Throughout the championship, he showed the audience how strategically modeled close guards combined with submissions, controls, and sweeps proved to be effective in winning the bouts. It was the time when he took gold in the regular division.

2.9. Received BJJ Black Belt

Demian Maia was awarded 5th degree black belt in 2021. Nearly two decades passed and he received his Black Belt from Master Fabio Gurgel.

2.10. Demian Maia’s Wins and Loses in BJJ

Following is the table displaying Demian Maia Victories and defeats before becoming a pro MMA fighter.

Date W/L Opponent
25.06.2022 W. Decision Polaris 20 Benson Henderson
30.04.2022 W. Triangle Choke
BJJ Stars 8
Alex Oliveira
05.04.2007 Win 2007 ADCS championships Flavio Almeida
28.05.2005 Loss
2005 ADCC Championships
Ronaldo Souza

2.11. Pro MMA Combat

Early Days in MMA

On 21 September 2001, Demian Maia won his debut match against Raul Sosa in just 48 seconds. After that, he took a four year break and defeated Lukasz Chewlicki by armbar at the Cage Vol.4.

3. Historic Fights

Following are the historic fights between Demian Maia and the fighters like Matt Brown, Dong Hyun Kim, and Tyron Woodley.

3.1. Demian Maia Vs Matt Brown

This historic fight was nerve-wracking for both of the fighters. Highly competitive offensive and defensive strategies marked the fight memorable and a feast for the eyes. Demian nabbed Brown after the fight started and Brown's defensive techniques were troublesome for Demian. He tried to control Matt from the back but failed to get success till the third round. Matt tried to knock out Maia, but the grappler slided his arms under the opponent's throat and forced him into submission.

“He was trained to protect his neck; he did a good job,” Maia said. “I will improve that. Now, I hope my next fight is for the belt.”

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight Class Location
14 May 2016 Ufc 198 Matt Brown Win Rear Naked Choke Round 3 Welterweight Division Curitiba, Brazil

3.2. Demian Maia Vs Dong Hyun Kim

Kim is a world-class Judo master. It was expected that both the fighters are going to give each other a tough time. But all of sudden the whole scenario changed when within a minute aggressive Demian trickly decided to go for a takedown. The moment Kim hit the ground, Demian quickly mounted him to win the fight.

Kim suffered a rib injury in this fight and Demian Maia was greatly regarded for instantly releasing Kim upon realizing it.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight Class
7 July 2012 UFC 148 Dong Hyun Kim Win TKO Rib Injury Round 1 Welterweight

3.3. Demian Maia Vs. Tyron Woodley

This historic fight brought victory for Tyron but the audience felt little irony in the result.

"It doesn't bother me at all," Woodley shares, "I was in there with a jiu-jitsu specialist. I'm just excited to fight a freestyle fighter, someone I can use all my skills against."

Woodley was successful enough to defend takedown attempts from Maia. In the first round punched in the right eye of Demian and then in the second round Maia was dropped. Third round was blasted with punches on Maia’s nose.

"I had to be patient with my shots," Woodley said. "He's stronger than I expected. He hit me with a couple left hands, which surprised me. I'm the best in the world, man."

UFC president Dana White shared about the fight, “ It was just Horrible.”

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Round Weight Class Location
29, july 2017 UFC 214 Tyron Woodley L Unanimous Decision 3 Welterweight Anaheim, California, US

4. BJJ Instructorship

4.1. Demian as an Instructor

There are only a few Demian Maia-affiliated Jiu-Jitsu academies among which Miami Academy in Florida and in Portugal are worth mentioning.

4.2. Instructional Series

Demian has created instructional series which is regarded as the best source to learn and practice Jiu-Jitsu. It is an equally valuable source for beginners and advanced students.

5. Championships and Accomplishments

5.1. National

CBJJ Brazilian Championships

Year Belts Position Medals
2006 Black. Absolute 1st Silver Silver Medal Icon
2006 Black. Meio-Pesado 3rd Bronze Bronze Medal Icon
2002 Brown. Medio-Pesado 3rd Bronze Bronze Medal Icon
2001 Brown. Medio-Pesado 1st Gold Gold Medal Icon
2001 Brown. Medio-Pesado 3rd Bronze Bronze Medal Icon

CBJJ Brazilian Team Championships

Year Belt Place Medals
2003 Brown/Black Pesada: Master 1st Gold Gold Medal Icon
2002 Brown/Black Pesada: Alliance 2nd Silver Silver Medal Icon
2001 Brown/Black Pesada: Alliance 1st Gold Gold Medal Icon
2000 Purple Pesada: Alliance 1st Gold Gold Medal Icon

5.2. International

ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships

Year Weight Place Medals
2007 77-87 kg 1st Gold Gold Medal Icon
2005 77-87 kg 2nd Silver Silver Medal Icon

Pan American Championships

  • 2006

CBJJ World Championships

Year Belt Place Medals
2001 Brown Medio-Pesado 2nd Silver Silver Medal Icon
2000 Purple Medio-Pesado 1st Gold Gold Medal Icon
1999 Blue Medio 2nd Silver Silver Medal Icon

CBJJO Cope Del Mundo

Year Belt Place Medals
2005 Black 1st Gold Gold Medal Icon
2003 Black Meio-Pesado 3rd Bronze Bronze Medal Icon
2003 Black Absolute 1st Gold Gold Medal Icon
2002 Black Meio-Pesado 1st Gold Gold Medal Icon
2002 Black Absolute 2nd Silver Silver Medal Icon

5.3. Mixed Martial Arts

Ultimate Fighting Championship includes:

  • Fight of the Night
  • Performance of the Night
  • Submission of the Night

5.4. Main achievements ( Jiu-Jitsu)

Demian Maia received his first black belt from Fabio Gurgel just after four years and seven months of Jiu-Jitsu training. In 2000, he was awarded the Brown belt at the BJJ World Championships. Then in 2001, Demian stood second and was awarded with Brown Belt Medio-Pesado at the BJJ World Championships.

5.5. Main achievements ( MMA)

Under UFC, Demian won Fight of the Night Award one time, then the Performance of the Night Award twice and four times the Submission of the Night award.

In 2001, a number of awards were granted to Demian Maia for knocking out Raul Sosa in 48 seconds. In 2007 he won the Submission of the Night awards three times. In the first round, he defeated Ryan Jensen with a Rear Naked Choke, in the second round to Ed Herman via submission, and in the third round to black belt Jason McDonald again by a Rear Naked Choke. In 2009, fight with Chael Sonnen was a historic one. Demian was considered a best functional and strategic grappler due to his unusual style.

6. Demian Maia BJJ Professional Record Breakdown

Professional Jiu-Jitsu Record Breakdown
38  Matches 27  Wins  11  Losses
By Submission  09 01
By Points  13 06
By Decision  02 01
By Penalty  01 01
By DQ  0 0
By Advantage  02 02

6.1. Submission Methods W/L

Submission Method 9 Wins 1 Loss
Triangle  03 0
Armbar 02 0
Choke from Back  02 0
Brambo Choke 0 1
Omoplata 01 0
Kata Gatame 1 0

7. Demian Maia BJJ Fight History

Year Event Opponent W/L Method Stage Weight
2002 Brasileiro Alexandre Dantas L Points 4F ABS
2002 Team Nationals Roger Gracie L Points F O88KG
2003 Team Nationals Roger Gracie L Points 4F O88KG
2003 Team Nationals Leandro Borgo W Pts: 5x0 F O88KG
2003 World Cup Fabio Nascimento L Points SF 88KG
2003 World Cup Ricardo Tozzi W Triangle R1 ABS
2003 World Cup Fabio Nascimento W Choke from back 4F ABS
2003 World Cup Fernando Paradeda W Points SF ABS
2003 World Cup Gabriel Napão W Points F ABS
2005 ADCC Marko Helen W Pts: 3x0 R1 88KG
2005 ADCC David Avellan W Pts: 3x0 4F 88KG
2005 ADCC Saulo Ribeiro W Pts: 0x0, Pen SF 88KG
2005 ADCC Ronaldo Souza L Pts: 0x0, Pen F 88KG
2005 World Cup Paulo Jacare W Pts: 8x0 SF 88KG
2005 World Cup Ronaldo Souza W Adv F 88KG
2005 World Champ. Rodrigo Pnheiro W Pts: 4x4, Adv R1 88KG
2005 World Champ. Antonio Borges W Choke from back 4F 88KG
2005 World Champ. Braulio Estima L Pts: 0x0, Adv SF 88KG
2006 Pan American Paulo Gazze W Triangle 4F 88KG
2006 Pan American Romulo Barral W Pts: 4x2 SF 88KG
2006 Pan American Givanildo Santana W Points F 88KG
2006 Pan American Rafael Barbosa W Armbar R1 ABS
2006 Pan American Alexandre Ribeiro L Pts: 0x0, Adv 4F ABS
2006 World Champ. Rodolfo Silva W Points R1 ABS
2006 World Champ. Roberto Abreu L Pts: 4x0 4F ABS
2006 Brasileiro Romulo Barral L Brabo choke SF 88KG
2006 Brasileiro Romulo Barral W Referee Decision 4F ABS
2006 Brasileiro Fernando Piero W Omoplata SF ABS
2006 Brasileiro Marcelo Garcia L Pts: 2x0 F ABS
2007 ADCC Yushin Okami W Points R1 88KG
2007 ADCC Rafael Lovato W Points 4F 88KG
2007 ADCC Tarsis Humphreys W Points SF 88KG
2007 ADCC Flavio Almeida W Armbar F 88KG
2007 Super Challenge Bruno Bastos W Pts: 3x0 R1 ABS
2007 Super Challenge Luiz Theodoro L Referee Decision 4F ABS
2022 BJJ Stars Alex Oliveira W Triangle SPF NA
2022 Polaris 20 Ben Henderson W Referee Decision SPF ABS

8. Demian Maia MMA Professional Record Breakdown

Professional MMA Record Breakdown
Matches 39 Wins 28 Losses 11
By Knockout  3 2
By Submission  14 0
By Decision 11 9

9. Demian Maia MMA Fight History

Year Event Opponent W/L Decision Stage Division
2021 UFC 263 Belal Muhammad L Unanimous Decision 3 Welterweight
2020 UFC Fight Night Lee vs Oliveira Gilbert Burns L TKO (Punches) 1 Welterweight
2019 UFC on ESPN+ 20 Ben Askren W Rear Naked Choke 3 Welterweight
2019 UFC on ESPN 3 Anthony Rocco Martin W Unanimous Decision  3 Welterweight
2019 UFC on ESPN+ 20 Lyman Good W Rear Naked Choke  1 Welterweight
2018 UFC Fight Night Maia vs Usman Kumaru Usman L Unanimous Decision 5 Welterweight
2017 UFC Fight Night 119 Colby Covington L Unanimous Decision 3 Welterweight
2017 UFC 214 Tyron Woodley L Unanimous Decision 5 Welterweight
2017 UFC 211 Jorge Masvidal W Split Decision  3 Welterweight
2016 UFC on Fox 21 Carlos Condit W Rear Naked Choke  1 Welterweight
2016 UFC 198 Matt Brown W Rear Naked Choke  3 Welterweight
2015 UFC 194 Gunnar Nelson W Unanimous Decision  3 Welterweight
2015 UFC 190 Neil Magny W Rear Naked Choke  2 Welterweight
2015 UFC Fight Night 62 Ryan LaFlare W Unanimous Decision  5 Welterweight
2014 UFC Fight night Alexander Yakoviev W Unanimous Decision  3 Welterweight
2014 UFC 170 Rory Mcdonald L Unanimous Decision 3 Welterweight
2013 UFC Fight Night Maia vs Shields Jake Shields L Split Decision 5 Welterweight
2013 UFC 156 Jon Fitch W Unanimous Decision  5 Welterweight
2012 UFC153 Rick Story W Rear Naked Choke  1 Welterweight
2012 UFC on Fox Evans vs. Davis Chris Weidman L Split Decision 3 Middleweight
2012 UFC 148 Dong Hyun Kim W Slam and Punches  1 Welterweight
2011 UFC 136 Jorge Santiago W Unanimous Decision  3 Middleweight
2011 UFC 131 Mark Munoz L Unanimous Decision 3 Middleweight
2010 The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale Kendall Grove W Unanimous Decision  3 Middleweight
2010 UFC 118 Mario Miranda W Unanimous Decision  3 Lightweight
2010 UFC 112 Anderson Silva L Unanimous Decision 5 Middleweight
2009 UFC 102 Nate Marquardt L KO ( punch) 1 Middleweight
2010 UFC 109 Dan Miller W Unanimous Decision  3 Middleweight
2009 UFC 95 Chael Sonnen W Triangle Choke  1 Middleweight
2008 UFC 91 Nate Quarry W Rear Naked Choke  1 Middleweight
2008 UFC 87 Jason MacDonald W Rear Naked Choke  3 Middleweight
2008 UFC 83 Ed Herman W Rear Naked Choke  2 Middleweight
2007 UFC 77 Ryan Jensen W Rear Naked Choke  1 Middleweight
2007 Ohio Regional Ryan Stout W TKO ( Shoulder Injury )  1 Middleweight
2006 Super Challenge 1 Vitelmo Kubis Bandeira W Rear Naked Choke  1 Middleweight
2006 Super Challenge 1 Gustavo Machado W Unanimous Decision  2 Middleweight
2006 Super Challenge 1 Fabio Nascimento W Guillotine Choke  1 Middleweight
2005 The Cage Vol.4 Lukasz Chiewicki W Submission Armbar  1 Middleweight
2001 Tormenta en el Ring Raul Sosa W TkO (Punches)  1 Middleweight

10. Demian Maia Top Fights Links

3 Minutes of Demian Maia the Murderous Strangler Strangling Some of the Best Fighters in the UFC

Demian Maia vs Belal Muhammad - FULL FIGHT

Demian Maia vs Ben Askren - FULL FIGHT

Photo Credit: @demianmaia @demianmaia

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