Demian spent the majority of the first two rounds using striking to keep Askren at a distance. Although known for world class Jiu-jitsu, Demian had the edge striking and landed several strong punches in that mode. This forced Ben to resort to trying to take Demian down, which Maia more successfully sabotaged early on. About half way through the third round Askren took Demian down, and the BJJ master went to work. After blocking Ben from achieving a dominant position, Maia put Ben on his back and started working towards the mount. As Demian slowly gained position Ben ‘bellied out’ and turned his back to Maia. Demian eventually sunk the rear choke in and Ben began to tap right as he passed out.
Demian’s strategy of keeping the fight standing and frustrating Ben with strikes was a great way to deplete Askren’s gas tank as the bout progressed. Forcing Askren to struggle for the takedown also took their toll on the wrestler so that, when the inevitable grappling match on the ground came, Maia was not only more skilled, but was also fresher.
This was Demian’s 27th win in MMA and 11th submission finish in the UFC. With that, Maia surpasses Royce Gracie in total submissions, moving him into second place behind Charles Oliveira at 13. Congratulations to professor Demian on an incredible win!