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…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.
—Demian Maia, via Sherdog, reflecting on his loss to Nate Marquardt at UFC 102
Saturday night was definitely not the last we’ll see of Demian Maia. His striking game is obviously his weakest, but once he shores that up, I don’t think there’s any reason to believe he won’t find himself in a title fight down the line.
Image via Sherdog