13 Mar - 
Maia targeting ‘fun’ fight against Sanchez next

Two UFC veterans want to face each other in the Octagon, as Demian Maia is open for a fight with Diego Sanchez.

After his recent win at UFC 235, Diego Sanchez told the media he wanted to fight Demian Maia next. Maia has now responded to Sanchez’s call-out, stating he would be keen on the ‘fun fight.

With almost 60 UFC appearances between them, Sanchez and Maia have spent over 10 years each in the UFC but their paths are yet to cross. That could change though, as Maia recently spoke to MMA Fighting showing his interest in a fight with Sanchez.

”I have a lot of respect for Diego, he is a warrior, and like I said on my Twitter, you can never underestimate experience,” Maia said. “I really thought it was nice to see him go against the odds and get the win. It’s not easy to be competing at a high level for so long, it’s a tough game, and he deserves a lot of recognition. So, I would be honoured to compete against him, after all the history we both have in the sport. Why not?”

Sanchez picked up a second-round stoppage win against Mickey Gall at UFC 235 earlier this month, meanwhile Maia submitted Lyman Good in the first round at UFC Fortaleza in February. The win for Maia snapped a three-fight losing streak.

”Fights are fights. It’s a cliche, but it’s true, you can never know how they’ll go down for sure until you do it,” Maia said. “Diego has a very good ground game, often underrated, is experienced, tough, has a lot of heart and has a great pace.

“I wouldn’t underestimate him at all, and I think it would be fun, with a lot of interesting scrambles. He is an offensive fighter, so he wouldn’t just try to avoid grappling at any costs, so it would be fun to watch, for sure.”

Maia said that Sanchez first approached him about a fight before he faced recently crowned champion Kamaru Usman at UFC Chile. The Brazilian is keen on fighting at UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro, which takes place on May 11th.