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Demian Maia: I was told I needed to remain active to get my chance for the UFC title

Demian Maia (GC) Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Just days away from the UFC welterweight championship bout between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson at Saturday’s UFC 209, the promotion announced that Demian Maia would be taking on Jorge Masvidal at UFC 211 on May 13.

The news came as a surprise since Maia told the media after UFC 205 that the promotion gave him two options after Woodley and Thompson fought for a draw in New York: wait for the rematch and fight the winner, or take another fight.

Maia chose to wait, but the promotion seems to have changed its mind on the Brazilian’s future.

After “getting a lot of questions” about his upcoming fight in Dallas, Maia released a statement on his situation, saying that the UFC told him he had to take another fight in order to earn a chance for the welterweight championship.

I have been getting a lot of questions from fans and the press on why did I take this fight, such a dangerous fight, just days before the WW title takes place. It was no secret I was waiting for a title shot, and it could seem strange on why did I change my mind so close to probably finally having my chance confirmed.

It is very simple. I was asked to take a fight, and told I needed to remain active to get my chance. I am and have been a martial artist, a competitor, and a fighter for more than 20 years now. This is what I do for a living, and this is who I am. I respect the UFC and Dana White a lot, it's been almost 10 years, and if that's what I have to do, it makes no sense to wait any longer.

I honestly believe I had already done enough to have a title shot, but not everything in life is often as we wish, and now that doesn't matter anymore. All my focus is on UFC 2011, as Masvidal is an extremely tough opponent and no fighter can think past him. Being the sportsman I am, I'm going to go in there, do my best, compete and test myself yet again. That's the life I have chosen.

Maia (24-6) has won six in a row since 2014, including dominant victories over Carlos Condit, Matt Brown, Neil Magny and Gunnar Nelson. Masvidal (32-11) is on a three-fight winning streak, capped off by a second-round knockout victory over Donald Cerrone.

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