Demian Maia is coming off of an excellent 2015 campaign. The former middleweight turned welterweight won three in a row, most recently culminating in a dominant victory over fellow grappling ace Gunnar Nelson in December.
That brings his welterweight record to 7-2 with four consecutive victories to add heft to his resume. That also brings his ranking to fifth in the division.
"That's what I want," he confessed. "I know many things can happen, but I think I'm ready for the title. Anytime, I can fight for that. I'm already training, a little bit and easy, but I want this chance."
Maia believes his resume rates a title shot, but he's also done the math. Carlos Condit has just fought for the title while Johny Hendricks has a fight coming up. Rory MacDonald also recently had his chance, Maia argued. That narrows down who is available and in his view, makes his second opportunity at a UFC title the best possible choice.
"Pretty much there's me and [Tyron] Woodley and I think I deserve to fight for the title," he argued. "I'm asking for that because that's the way you get the chance. You gotta fight, you gotta do well. When you get asked if you want the title, you really need to push for that. That's why I want to do it my style, not do it so loud, but I want to fight for the title."
Still, the Brazilian has to prepare for a scenario where that title shot doesn't come. If that happens, Maia said his path doesn't change. All roads need to lead a title shot. There are no glory or entertainment fights he's willing to take. With the amount of time left in the game, he claimed he's ready and willing to anything and everything to get one last grasp at UFC gold.
"I want to fight with somebody that takes me to the title if I win," he explained. "I think the fights would make more sense would be Woodley or Matt Brown, who is tied near with me in the rankings and Woodley also. That's the fights that would make more sense, but, of course, if I can choose today, I would say I don't want to fight with those guys. I want to fight for a title.
"For the title, I would do anything," Maia continued. "For the title, if they say, 'Ok, let's sit and wait,', I will sit and wait because I know it's a once in a lifetime opportunity."