UFC Fight Night 62 Fight Breakdown: Ryan LaFlare vs. Demian Maia

Demian-Maia The main event of UFC Fight Night 62 is a five-round welterweight bout between Ryan LaFlare and Demian Maia. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, LaFlare is a -150 favorite (bet $150 to win $100) while Maia is a +130 underdog (bet $100 to win $130). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up LaFlare at -125 and Maia at -115, and so far the bettors lean towards LaFlare to win this fight. This is a tough, tricky fight to predict, but I have to lean towards Maia as the underdog to pick up the win. Here’s why. LaFlare (11-0) is 4-0 in the UFC with four decision wins over John Howard, Santiago Ponzinibbio, Court McGee and Ben Alloway. The 31-year-old American trains at the Blackzilians and looks better every time we see him. He has an excellent wrestling base and is able to take down most of his opponents and control them on the ground for decision wins. He has a solid kickboxing attack to go along with his wrestling, but it’s mostly a volume-based attack and he lacks power behind his strikes. Prior to the UFC, he had finished all seven of his opponents on the regional circuit, but since joining the UFC he has shown no stopping ability, which is a concern as he moves up in the division. As well, he has shown issues with his defensive grappling and in his cardio, which are again huge concerns as his level of competition starts to increase. There’s no doubt he is a talented fighter and with his wrestling base he can go far in the sport, but until he proves himself against an elite fighter I have a hard time siding with him over someone as experienced and accomplished as Maia, and I think the line on LaFlare is higher than it should be given his struggles on the ground in his last fight against Howard. Maia (19-6) is 13-6 in the UFC with wins over the likes of Dong Hyun Kim, Jon Fitch and Rick Story and with losses to elite fighters like Chris Weidman, Rory MacDonald and Anderson Silva. The 37-year-old Brazilian is a grappling wizard and has one of the most impressive ground games the world of MMA has ever seen. He has won nine fights in MMA by submission and anytime his fights go to the ground he is almost always in control. He has very good wrestling as well, and only elite wrestlers like Jake Shields can actually control him. Maia doesn’t have great striking, but it’s been getting better over the years and he even scored a knockdown against Alexander Yakovlev in his most recent outing. He is getting up there in age and his cardio hasn’t looked great in his recent fights, but look at who Maia has been fighting — the cream of the crop. I don’t think he’s a contender anymore, but he’s certainly a tough out for anyone at 170lbs, and until he loses to someone less-than-elite, I’m not ready to write him off just yet. Like I stated earlier, this is a very tough fight to predict but I lean towards Maia here. This is a fight that’s most likely going to be a grappling match for up to 25 minutes and it’s hard not to give Maia the edge in a grappling match. LaFlare is a solid wrestler, but he’s been put in bad spots in the past against non-grapplers like Howard, and if Maia gets him in the same spots he could potentially finish this fight. LaFlare has never been five rounds before and overall his level of competition has been mediocre. Meanwhile, Maia has been fighting the best of the best for years. He’s an extremely tough fighter and not even guys like Silva, Weidman and MacDonald could finish him. So LaFlare’s path to victory would be to outwrestle Maia for five full rounds and hope to eek out a decision like Shields did, and that’s going to be tough to do in Brazil. If this fight stays standing, I’d give the edge in volume to LaFlare, but I’d have to give Maia a slight power advantage, believe it or not. But I don’t think it stays standing, I think it goes to the ground, a.k.a. Maia’s wheelhouse, and I’m going with the Brazilian here to edge out a close decision or maybe get a submission. It’s a hard fight to bet since I can see LaFlare edging out a decision as well, but I truly believe Maia should be favored in this fight over a guy whose best win is John Howard, and I think there is some value on the Brazilian as the dog. Tread cautiously, but as far as I’m concerned this is Maia or pass.

Written by Adam Martin.

Leave a Reply

UFC Fight Night 62 Newcomer Breakdown: Fredy Serrano

Titan FC COO Lex McMahon: ‘Everyone will know Kurt Kinser after this event’