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A Breakdown of Demian Maia-Ryan LaFlare

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On March 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, welterweights Demian Maia takes on Ryan LaFlare in a 5 round main event. Maia is coming off a 10 month layoff due to injuries and looks to get back to his winning ways. LaFlare, an undefeated prospect looking to get into the top 10 in the welterweight division, is taking on his best opponent to date in essentially a road match. This is a breakdown of how the fight could go down.

Striking

Demian Maia is a southpaw boxer style striker. He mostly uses his striking to clinch or set up his takedowns and get the fight to the ground where he is strong. Maia doesn’t possess much power in his strikes, so for him, he needs to be either all the way in the clinch or out or striking range. The one loss on his resume by TKO came when he rushed Nate Marquardt and got caught with a punch. Maia trained his striking with Wanderlei Silva for awhile which I feel wasn’t a great choice stylistically. Silva was ultra aggressive with his striking and Maia needs to be safer with his striking and not get into a brawl.

Ryan LaFlare, like Maia, is a southpaw fighter with a grappling base. LaFlare doesn’t stay in the pocket long, he throws 1-2 strikes, then looks to shoot, clinch, or backs out to reset. His favorite strike appears to be a left kick to the body which he threw numerous times in his win over John Howard. In the clinch, LaFlare is very strong with his wrestling background and loves working knees and elbows. He is also very good at striking when breaking the clinch. LaFlare has 3 (T)KO wins on his resume, yet the last one came in June of 2010.

Grappling

Maia is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Fabio Gurgel and has competed around the world in BJJ competitions. Maia has good takedowns, especially in the clinch and had success taking down wrestlers. One of the prettier submissions I remember was when Maia fought Chael Sonnen. Maia threw Sonnen from the clinch and landed in the mount in position to go right to the triangle and finished Sonnen from the triangle. Of Maia’s 7 submission wins, 5 have come by way of choke and 1 via neck crack when he was looking for a rear naked choke. The biggest issue on the ground for Maia is that he doesn’t have devastating ground and pound and opponents fear his subs so much that they don’t open up. If he developed some more power in his strikes he could force opponents to react to help set up his submission game.

LaFlare was a wrestler in college and is currently a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. LaFlare has both good shots and clinch takedowns but has been susceptible to getting taken down which could cause problems against Maia. When the fight hits the mat, LaFlare has a smothering top game, does a good job of advancing position, but like Maia, doesn’t have the devastating ground and pound. He has 3 submission wins to his credit, all by armbar, but has also looked for darces and guillotines too. On his back, he does a good job of not taking punishment and can create scrambles to get on top or standing up.

Overview

This fight has the potential to be a fun fight for grappling fans with two highly skilled grapplers. It will be interesting to see if either man has ring rust as each has had a long layoff. Maia has been away from the cage for 10 months, while LaFlare has been away 11 months. The other factor could be that this will be LaFlare’s first 5 round fight and main event in the UFC, it will be interesting to see if that affects him in anyway.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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