UFC 211 is so stacked that we decided to do something big for the Great Debate series. We have decided to do a Great Debate for all five of the main card fights. We also wanted to invite other members of the media to be part of the fun. So we will have five staff members of The MMA Takeover go head to head against five members of the MMA media world. Each day we will debate a different fight.
We have already debated Sergio Pettis vs Henry Cejudo and Frankie Edgar vs Yair Rodriguez. Now we shift our focus to the welterweight showdown between Demain Maia and Jorge Masvidal. The MMA Takeover staff writer Alex Smith will be debating against LoudMouth Podcast network founder Kyle Steele. Alex will be arguing for Maia, while Kyle has Masvidal.
Why Demain Main Wins by Alex Smith:
Why Jorge Masvidal Wins by Kyle Steele:
I should start by saying that taking Jorge Masvidal here isn’t my most confident of picks. However, I do think he gets the win.
Here’s why: it doesn’t take much analysis to figure out Damian Maia’s game plan for this fight. I know it, you know it, my wife probably knows it, and, most importantly, Masvidal knows it. His team knows it–the entire gym too. When a person is able to so specifically game plan for an opponent I feel as though they get an advantage. However, it takes a while for someone to come along and give everyone that winning blueprint. In my opinion, this is what you saw with Ronda Rousey. The difference between Rousey and Maia (besides Maia being more well-rounded) is that we’ve already seen the blueprint. He’s been beaten. Simply, you need to survive the takedowns and force Maia to throw punches. That’s basically it. Survive and dictate where the fight takes place. Most importantly, keep him off your back. I repeat…KEEP HIM OFF YOUR BACK.
This isn’t an easy task. Damian Maia is a 4th Degree Black Belt under Fabio Gurgel and is widely considered to be one of the greatest (if not the greatest) grapplers in our sport. He’s also riding a six-fight win streak with wins over Gunnar Nelson and Carlos Condit. Strength of Schedule wise, Maia gets the edge. But it’s worth noting that Masvidal, I believe, is a decent step up in competition and ring IQ.
The margin of error for Masvidal is very small. If Maia gets his back, I think it’s game over. However, if Masvidal can keep the fight on the feet for as long as possible, and keep Maia in his guard when the fight does hit the mat, I truly believe that Masvidal will out point Damian Maia. Many of Masvidal’s loses are by very close margins, his defensive striking sometimes turns judges off. That won’t be a problem here, as Maia is not known for his flash.
I expect Jorge to get taken down. I expect him to lose the first round. I expect Maia to gas out. I expect Masvidal to outstrike Maia by quite a bit. Go watch the Maia vs MacDonald fight, that’s pretty close to what I’m picturing here.
Give me Jorge Masvidal by Decision.
We would like to thank Kyle for participating in the Great Debate Series. Make sure you check out the entire LoudMouth network on ITunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, PlayerFM, SoundCloud, and more. Also, follow him on Twitter at @ LoudMouthMMA and like his Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/loudmouthmma/?ref=br_tf