Demian Maia finally gets his long-awaited title shot when he takes on UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 214. Maia enters the fight riding a seven-fight winning streak that has seen him defeat the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Carlos Condit and Matt Brown. Woodley has gone 4-0-1 in his past five fights but is coming off a lackluster victory over Stephen Thompson.
“The Chosen One” opened as a -185 favorite with Maia coming back at +150. This is an interesting spot for Maia, as the Brazilian has not entered a fight as a plus-money underdog since his fight with Rory MacDonald, which happens to be his last loss.
Woodley combines solid fundamentals with natural athleticism to dominate his opponents. He is at his best when he can wait for his moment to explode with either his massive hands or a big takedown attempt. Woodley wants to fight a methodical pace where he can dictate the terms of engagement.
Maia looks to pressure his opponent in the striking game but everyone knows the standup game is built to get his opponent to the cage. Once on the cage, he will do everything he can to bring the fight to the mat. Maia might be the best BJJ practitioner in MMA history, as he embarrasses pretty much anyone he gets on the ground.