"When I was a boy, I saw a Van Damme movie in which he [fought] different kinds of martial arts in fights," Maia said. "There I thought: One day I'll be in one of these competitions."
The film may have opened Maia's eyes when it came to a mixed style of fighting, but as a grappler, he was inspired by Royce Gracie and considers Rickson his hero.
Maia (10-0) is undefeated in the Octagon, submitting all five of his UFC opponents. Maia tapped out uncrowned WEC middleweight champ Chael Sonnen at UFC 95 and earned his fourth Submission of the Night.