Maia rag dolled a solid strong wrestler in Story. His take down ability is underrated. Fitch may be a better wrestler than Story, but Fitch has never had outstanding take down defense. People like to assume that because a guy is a great wrestler, it automatically makes his take down defense top notch, but to me, it seems like when someone has consistently worked for a take down against Fitch, they eventually get it. His take down defense isn't bad, but it's by no means great in my opinion. I think it's just that he's the one who's usually attempting the take down. Most people don't exactly want to turn it into a grappling match against him.
Maia is a big guy at 170, and like I said, even though BJJ is his bread and butter, his take downs are good. Rag dolled a strong wrestler in Story like I said, took down a strong judoka in Dong Hyun Kim from the clinch no less. At 185, he took down Chael Sonnen even. A guy who is a way more accomplished and bigger wrestler than Fitch.
Fitch may stuff the take down, but I'm not going to assume if Fitch wants to keep the fight standing, he can for 15 minutes just because he's the wrestler in this fight. I think Maia can take him down if he works for it, whether I'm right or not will be decided very soon.
This fight is such a good fight either way. Standing, it can go either way. I'm not sure who has the advantage standing, but I'm hoping it goes to the ground. I want to see Fitch in Maia's guard. This is the best BJJ guy Fitch has faced in my opinion. If Penn and Silva can get in positions to nearly submit Fitch (whether they were close or not), I think that Maia can as well. He has better BJJ than Penn and he's a bigger guy. Fitch won't have the size advantage in this fight like he did against Penn.
I may be slightly biased since I'm a big fan of Maia, but I don't see Fitch taking him down and just controlling him for three rounds, and I think he will have trouble just sprawl and brawling his way to victory. His striking isn't great, and his take down defense isn't outstanding either. I just hope Maia's conditioning looks good because he hasn't been gone one round in the UFC welterweight division.
Psalm 30:5 "For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
Top 3 Favorite Fighters
1. Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell
2. Glover Teixeira
3. Diego Sanchez