Originally Posted by Zuben
I feel pretty secure in my position that Fitch wins this fight. Maia totally loses to fighters who aren't even close to Fitch's level, and Fitch is very adept at avoiding the triangles, arm bars, and shoulder locks that Maia will try to apply after getting taken down and/or pulling gaurd. I think Maia will get ground out.
Obviously, I can't say that this is what will definetely happen, and Maia is better poised with his skill set than just about any fighter to mess with Fitch's usual game plan, but I feel pretty comfortable on my vCash bet on Fitch right now.
I hope they grapple and not stand and strike.
Glad mooks like you bet up Fitch to ridiculous >-200 levels. Maia OUTCLASSED Fitch like a -500 favourite. I guess you were too busy watching fights from 6 years ago to be reading my prefight breakdown...
I think the public sees this fight as WRESTLER vs BJJ EXPERT and the wrassler usually wins from top position. This is a COMPLETELY different fight where both guys have a near identical wrestling style in MMA with heavy clinching, body-lock TDs and trips.
I admit that we haven't seen Demian Maia's defensive wrestling in the clinch/trips adequately tested lately which could be an issue if Fitch goes on the offensive. Everyone, myself included, think that Maia will bring the clinch to Fitch and not so much vice versa. However, if Maia is taken down, he's excellent at sweeping from guard or scrambling up, against much bigger wrestlers who are better top blankets than Fitch like Weidman/Munoz.
Fitch is prone to trips. He got dropped on his face in round two of the Erick Silva fight by a nice sweep. He also gives up his back on body locks against the fence (also R2 vs Silva) and got into deep water against Erick with Silva sinking in the hooks and attacking with a deep RNC. That is Maia's FAVOURITE technique. Sliding through to the back with a body lock near the cage and sinking in hooks. Fitch should be very wary about these technical errors against Maia.
To Oblivian who says that Maia's BJJ is (somewhat) overrated because he hasn't gotten a sub besides Story since 2009... well, he fought blackbelt after blackbelt who only looked to survive or big wrestlers who are far too savvy to be submitted from the bottom or who are too big such that Maia couldn't gain top control of to work his sub game. The situation is not akin to Fitch who Maia should be able to get top position on from Fitch's lacklustre TDD history against the cage/clinch/trips.
And with respect to the cardio point by Oblivian, I rewatched Maia-Santiago today and Maia was breathing calmly in his corner after R2 and chained several TDs together in R3 before eventually completely one and then passing to side control, north-south and mount while reigning down calculated strikes. He was the fresher fighter of the two and Santiago has very respectable cardio --- so much so that he won two epic fights with Misaki in Sengoku in the 5th round thanks to his superior cardio.
Is it possible that Maia gasses to Fitch's countergrappling and looks awful in round 3? Definitely. Fitch has a penchant for smashing guys who blow their wad in the first two rounds (Silva & BJ being the two most obvious examples). But Maia is more calculated than those two on the mat. BJ has never had good cardio at WW. Gas out against Hughes much? Silva has always had cardio questions... the guys blows people out in the first round every fight... since when did Fitch prove that he exploited what no one else could? Silva has gassed out in Brazil before and lost a decision. Maia has a proven track record of grappling for 15 minutes and still having gas in the tank. I think Maia will be fresher than people think but I acknowledge that it's somewhat of an uncertainty and that's why I recommend that most people play it more cautiously than me in terms of their BR. I just think that Maia @ close to 2:1 is the play of the century and I don't want to pass up this opportunity by being overly conservative when I feel I see this fight more clearly than the general betting public.
Hope you learned your lesson. Don't judge fighters based on fights from 6 years ago. Fighters grow, the least of whom is a dynamic, cerebral guy like Maia who first refined his striking game and then went back to his top of the food chain grappling game, now against guys his size or smaller.
You could've watched the most recent fight (vs Story) to see that... instead you went to tape from 6 years ago to validate your preconceived opinion that you wanted to bet against Maia... a card where Fitch got smashed for 25 minutes. SMH