Demian Maia Says He’s A Bigger PPV Draw Than Stephen Thompson

Demian Maia will be facing Jorge Masvidal in two months at UFC 211 in Dallas, Texas.

The Brazilian submission artist feels that he’s a bigger pay-per-view draw than the last man to challenge for the UFC Welterweight Title in Stephen Thompson.

“Everybody says, ‘oh this guy sell fights, this other guys doesn’t sell fights,’ but the reality is that in the welterweight division nobody sells fights well,” Maia explained on The MMA Hour. “Sometimes people push off my shoulders with these things, but in my last fight, I got a submission win, and in previous fights, I’ve had great performances and people want to watch my fights. I’m not saying that their last fight [Woodley vs. Thompson] was bad, but everybody knew it didn’t sell well, it wasn’t so exciting. So it’s not just my problem, it’s all of us together. The UFC needs to promote a little bit more, and welterweight is a division that is hard to sell nowadays and that’s it. I think that people believe in lies and they repeat the lies so many times that the people start to believe, ‘ah, Demian is not fighting for the title because he doesn’t sell.’ And that’s not true, I wouldn’t sell worse than ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson did, I think I could sell better.”

Thompson recently failed in his second opportunity to capture the UFC Welterweight Title at UFC 209. Maia feels that either way, marketing is everything when it comes to the UFC.

“Marketing is everything,” Maia said. “When I watched the first fight between Woodley and Thompson, and I want to make clear that I really admire both guys, for me the fight was really boring at UFC 205 because nobody pulled the trigger for three rounds. The fourth round there was a scramble and that was really exciting, but then the fifth round was so-so again. But in order to make the second fight, the UFC gave them Fight of the Night because after two or three weeks nobody would remember well and then the people would say, ‘okay, it was a nice fight because it was Fight of the Night.’ But for me, that was far [from being] Fight of the Night. So people start to talk about that and that makes a buzz for the next fight, so it’s not so hard. When you want to push somebody, you can do it.”

UFC 211 takes place on Saturday, May 13 from the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas with Junior Dos Santos and Stipe Miocic headlining.