On Saturday night, Demian Maia had his second appearance in the UFC welterweight division when he battled Rick Story in the first fight on the UFC 153 PPV. His first fight at welterweight ended quickly, as Dong Hyun Kim was TKO'd due to an injury.
This fight was an absolute beatdown, as Maia earned a first round submission victory with a neck crank at just 2:30 of the first round.
Maia is now 2-0 as a UFC welterweight and looks like he could be a legitimate title threat in the welterweight division; the question is, can he be a legitimate threat?
I believe the answer to that to be yes.
In the middleweight division, Maia was always an average sized guy, but at welterweight, he has a strength advantage over a number of people, including Story.
Maia also seems to have remembered that he is a jiu-jitsu player, and not primarily a striker. His fight against Dong Hyun Kim was ended as Maia took Kim down, and then this fight against Story was finished on the ground.
Maia is now in a wrestler-heavy division at 170 pounds. He was able to take down Story, but higher level wrestlers may pose an issue for him.
Not only that, but if Maia goes up against a wrestler with good striking as well, such as Josh Koscheck, he will have to make sure his striking is up to par, so that he can use his hands to set up his takedowns.
If he keeps training hard and getting better with his striking, Maia could be a legitimate threat to the welterweight title.
Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow him on Twitter @TimMcTiernan.
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