Denis Martins: You were the only fighter that won both phases of the Brazilian ADCC Trials. How did you get technically and physically prepared for such a marathon? Maia: I had knee surgery months before the trials and spent more than 1 month without training. The routine was the usual, 2 strong training sessiona a day alternating bjj, boxing and physical training. This time is that I didn’t stop training boxing because I didn’t want to interrupt my stand up development which is very important. Denis Martins: You faced 4 fighters in the first phase and 3 in the second phase of the trials. Which was the hardest? Maia: The second because I fought 2 guys (Rodrigo ‘Comprido’ Medeiros and Fernando ‘Margarida’ Pontes) that won the absolute in the Mundials, and they are my idols. The first phase was also hard, mainly the fights with Braulio ‘Carcara’ Estima and Marcelo ‘Uriapuru’ Azevedo, but I think that in general the second phase had more pressure and better fighters. Denis Martins: You had a cut on your face during one of your fights in the first phase, what happened? Maia: I hit my mouth on Uirapuru’s forehead and it opened a cut in my mouth. The judge didn’t want me to continue but I talked to him and he ended up letting me finish the fight. I owe a lot to him (the judge) for being nice, because he could have disqualified me for bleeding. Denis Martins: Did this cut harm your game throughout the rest of the trials? Maia: After the fight I got 4 stitches and the next day I fought the final against Estima. I was a little worried, but thank God everything went fine. Denis Martins: You had two battles during both trials, the first against the technical and dangerous Estima and the second against Margarida. Which one did you consider the hardest? Maia: Both were hard, but I believe that against Margarida there were 2 different factors: First, he is my friend for years and second, the fight lasted 20 minutes (the fight went 2 overtimes). Denis Martins: You faced your Brasa’s teammate in the semi-final, Comprido, how do you see this fight – I mean, was it an experience you don’t want to go through again? Maia: This was an unpleasant fact. I learned from him and I owe to Comprido, so I don’t want to be in front of a teammate again. Denis Martins: Leonardo Vieira and Comprido are helping you by letting you know what you may face in the ADCC2005 event? Maia: Leo and Comprido always help me, both technically and with the security they pass me. It is really good being next to them. Denis Martins: It seemed that your final-fight against Cohen was easier than you expected, right? Maia: It wasn’t easy, although I scored many points and got the choke. He is a tough fighter, very strong. Denis Martins: Do you intend to participate in any event before the Abu Dhabi 2005? Maia: For sure; with gi and without it. If it all goes well, 1 MMA fight. Denis Martins- A lot of people don’t know that you have already debuted in MMA. You fought in 2001, how did you get that opportunity? Maia- Francisco Salvador booked me to fight. He is the only BJJ black-belt in Venezuela. The fight was quick, under 1 minute. I took him down, and then took his back. I hit him until his corner threw in the towel. My opponent was a wrestler that weighed 110kg. Denis Martins- Will you work hard at your MMA career? Maia- It’s what I want to do. I have had some negotiations and I hope it works. I’d like to fight in Japan. Denis Martins- You were a semifinalist at the Brazilian Trials in 2001. Besides that, tell me your other submission experiences. Maia- I have competed in several submission tournaments. I have lost just 3 times until now. No doubt my highest competition experience in submission was the 2001 trials. I was a purple-belt, I weighed 80kg and fought in the 98.9kg category. I beat a black-belt in the first match and I ended up losing to Leo Dalla in the semifinals. Denis Martins- You didn’t fight in JJ often last year. Why? Maia- I had surgery on my knee. If no MMA opportunities arise this year, I’ll fight with the gi. Denis Martins- Who do you pick to win the superfight of ADCC2005, Ricardo Arona or Dean Lister? Maia- I think Lister is a very skilled fighter. But my pick is Arona. In my opinion, he is nearly unbeatable under submission rules. Denis Martins- Do you want to add anything else? Maia- I want to say THANK YOU to Koral Kimonos, Bar do Sacha restaurant and a big hug to my friends and students from Brasa team.
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