What goes through the mind of someone about to make his UFC debut?

Photo & Article By Marcelo Dunlop

Black belt Demian Maia wrote this article for NOCAUTE magazine (Now the CHOKE MMA supplement found monthly in GRACIEMAG) in November 2007.

In this reflection, Demian addresses the fears and insecurities of an MMA fighter and already mentions Anderson Silva, with whom he would later do battle three years later in Abu Dhabi.

Demian was just coming off winning a title in the ADCC 2007 under-88 kg division, which just added to the pressure on him. See what he had to say in the text that follows. And stop missing all the best scribblings on MMA and Jiu-Jitsu, secure your copy of GRACIEMAG at home every month by clicking here.

“Why go through all this? All this stress, all this tension? That’s what I asked myself when in the dressing room at UFC 77, a few hours before going in to fight. And that’s how I feel every time I’m at a championship, whether Jiu-Jitsu or MMA. When I was a blue belt I though that feeling would end… Sweet illusion. The more the professional you become, the greater the responsibility and, consequently, the greater the pressure.

“Now, in the greatest organization in the world, the tension is huge, but it’s not any greater than my joy for being here. I prepared my whole life for this, I didn’t decide to do MMA for money or to satisfy my ego. Ever since I was a kid I dreamed of being the best fighter in the world – I already wanted to be a fighter at nine years of age. I’d buy karate books and would imitate self-defense techniques with some of my friends. I had done a year of judo, but I was really small, I don’t even remember it that well. At twelve I started practicing kung-fu and karate a bit later on – influenced by the movies of the times.


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