Talking points: Maia, Condit, VanZant and more


While waiting for the official announcement from Bruce Buffer, Demian Maia fought back tears after submitting Carlos Condit in under than two minutes Saturday night.

That moment was the culmination of four years relentlessly pursuing another title shot. Maia lost to Anderson Silva for the 185-pound title back in 2010, and two years later moved down to 170 pounds to fight for his chance to become a champion.

After five consecutive wins in one of the most competitive divisions in the UFC, many believed Maia had earned a title shot before he even stepped foot inside the Octagon to face Condit.

But in just two minutes, Maia left no doubt.

Now Maia plans to wait it out until his title shot is on the table.

“I will wait,” Maia said. “I can stay active in training and do teaching and what I do every day. The guy I fought today - he's not just a former champion, but I watched Octagon-side his fight against Robbie Lawler. Many people, including me, thought he won. What else do i need to do?”

These are the Fight Night Vancouver Talking Points:

More from Fight Night Vancouver: Results | Postfight bonus recap | Maia makes quick work of Condit | Pettis, VanZant, Miller triumph in Vancouver | Celebs weigh in after VanZant win | Alvey wins by TKO, Bochniak, Di Chirico score split decision victories | Laprise wastes no time, Kennedy takes longer route to victory | Backstage interviews: Demian Maia, Carlos Condit, Paige VanZant, Jim Miller, Sam Alvey | Octagon interviews: Demian Maia and Carlos Condit, Anthony Pettis, Chad Laprise | Watch the first two fights of the night on UFC FIGHT PASS | Best images from Vancouver

Maia, Condit and the dangerous welterweight waters

After every event we try to put things in perspective and give everybody an idea of what to expect next. But Maia made things very interesting in Canada for the entire welterweight division.

Condit was asked about what he plans to do next, and while he wouldn’t necessarily say one way or the other, it’s likely he doesn’t want to go out on a loss. With Condit in the mix, along with Robbie Lawler and Donald Cerrone, there are a ton of elimination fights out there.

As far as the title goes, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is likely next for new champ Tyron Woodley, and Maia said after the fight that he’s going to wait to take on the winner.

Maia suggested at the post-fight press conference that he would like to be next to fight Woodley because he’s older than Thompson. With an impressive win against Condit, Maia is certainly more in the mix than ever before.

Once again – it’s Showtime

Anthony Pettis said he is dropping down to 145 pounds to cement his legacy. He’s chasing a second title in a different weight class, and after submitting jiu-jitsu ace Charles Oliveira, “Showtime” delivered his message to the entire featherweight division.

Pettis gassed himself out in the first round when he saw Oliveira’s eyes roll to the back of his head after a series of punches followed a kick to the body that crumbled Oliveira like an accordion. But the former lightweight champ survived the second and then showed his championship pedigree and heart to reverse position from his back to get back up before finishing by guillotine choke.

Pettis took what could be considered the toughest challenge available with Oliveira – a former 155-pounder with elite grappling and jiu-jitsu. Rafael Dos Anjos and Eddie Alvarez took out Pettis with those same exact strengths, but Pettis wanted to make a statement.

Showtime emerges from Vancouver as the newest contender at 145 pounds and he has his sights set on the top players of the division. Frankie Edgar, Max Holloway, Jose Aldo and champ Conor McGregor have a new dog in the yard.

“I wanted a challenge and when I dropped down to featherweight, I told them I want the best,” Pettis said. “I’m looking to become a two-division champion. Because this was my first cut to 145 pounds, there are some things I’ll change for next time but overall I was extremely happy with how I performed.”

Paige VanZant star continues to soar

Paige VanZant was a superstar before her win over Bec Rawlings in Vancouver. But after that sensational head kick KO, VanZant has become a megastar.

Make no mistake – she was utterly dominated by Rose Namajunas eight months ago. At 22, she is still learning how to be a fighter.

But with the toughness showed in her last fight and the new wrinkle she seems to have added with her kicking game, VanZant’s potential and star power make her a top-tier strawweight.

After just five UFC fights, VanZant has four wins and three finishes, which is the most in the short history of the 115-pound division. Ahead of her fight this week, “12 Gauge” spoke about the learning process of becoming a fighter and that she is just starting her journey.

“Holy Balogna, that’s it,” VanZant said. “I’m still on Cloud Nine. I’ve been drilling that kick with my team. We knew she would lead with her front foot so I kept landing the leg kicks to setup the head kick and it worked out.”

Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrinoUFC
Saturday, March 3
Las Vegas, Nevada


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