Saturday, May 14th, 2016 in Curitiba, Brazil for UFC 198: “Werdum vs. Miocic” by Daniel Tom

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Demian Maia (22-6)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 38 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 72″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Gunnar Nelson (12-12-15)
  • Camp: Demian Maia BJJ (Brazil)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Excellent

Supplemental info:
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   2x BJJ World Champion
+   ADCC Winner 2007
+   10 Submission wins
+   10 First round finishes
+   Improved striking
^   Hard left crosses & kicks
+   Deceptively strong in clinch
^   Favors trips from body-lock
+   Underrated wrestling
^   Effective shots & entries
+   Superb top game/control
^   77 passes in 22 fights
+   Active back taker
+   16-2 w/at least 1 scored TD
–    Propensity to fade late


Matt Brown (20-13)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 35 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 76″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Tim Means (7-11-15)
  • Camp: Elevation Fight Team (Denver, CO)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 7 Alum
+   Regional MMA Title
+   13 KO victories
+   7 Submission wins
+   8 First round finishes
+   Relentless pace & pressure
+   Strong volume & variety
+   Deceptive fight IQ
^   Creates & capitalizes on chaos
+   Excellent clinch striker
^   Dangerous elbows
+   Improved wrestling
+   Active guard
^   Submissions & sweeps
+   Scrambles well
–   Aggression allows for counters


Headlining Brazil’s stacked preliminary card on Fox Sports 1 is an exciting matchup between Brazilian Jiu-jitsu world champion Demian Maia and the always-dangerous Matt Brown. Riding a four-fight winning streak since losing to Rory MacDonald, Maia has made it clear that his intentions are for the Title. Standing in his way is one of the most dangerous fighters in the division, as Matt Brown will look upset the locals by displaying the form that earned him a 7-fight win streak.

I do not want to over-generalize this as a striker versus grappler matchup, but this fights key factor will certainly be distance management. The inherent problem that should now ring in your head when reading this is, yes, how will Matt Brown achieve a healthy range in this fight?

Although Brown has made consistent improvements in rounding out his game, he compensates for his technical deficiencies through a relentless pace & pressure. Despite Brown’s fan friendly stylings, his technical brawling typically leaves him open to be countered. Even though turbulence has not traditionally discouraged Brown from making his approach, the threat of giving up takedowns to Maia may turn his landing strip into a tight rope.

It will be interesting to see if any changes are made by Matt this time around, as this will be his first training camp with the Elevation Fight Team in Denver, Colorado. That said, Brown should have a distinct advantage on the feet for however long it remains there. Unfortunately as a Brown fan, I am not sure it will be for long considering who he is facing. Since dropping to welterweight, long have we seen Maia demonstrate his improved striking as he now wastes little time in closing the distance and forcing his game.

Always a crafty and effective takedown artist from the clinch, Demian has displayed dramatic improvements to his offensive wrestling. Particularly in his shot-entries, as Maia shows a deceptive application & understanding of hips and leverage while staying disciplined with his attack. Although Brown has made measurable upgrades to his wrestling game, he still shows technical & emotional(aggression) susceptibilities that can cost him takedowns. With Matt being no stranger to opponents looking to ground him, he finds intelligent ways to parlay his aggression into opportunities.

In Brown’s fight with Johhny Hendricks, we saw the All-American wrestler practically take Matt down at will. However, Matt was able to use leglock attacks to create scrambles as this forced Hendricks to defend. In escaping such attempts, this would create space for Brown to get up to his feet and back into the fight. That said, I am not sure these technical baits will work on a master like Maia. We have seen Demian take other high-level grapplers back to school as his transitional numbers speak for themselves(77 passes in 22 fights). And with a record of 16-2 when able to achieve a minimum of 1-takedown, it is hard to go against Maia in this matchup.

Official Pick: Maia – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: Maia – Submission (round 3)

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Maia def. Brown
  • Barberena def. Alves
  • Santos def. Marquardt
  • Font def. Lineker
  • Cummins def. Nogueira
  • Trinaldo def. Medeiros
  • Moraes def. Chagas
  • Tukhugov def. Caneiro

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