Don't get me wrong. Maia is a fantastic fighter and will have a prolific career in the UFC. His jiu-jitsu is at a level rarely seen in the Octagon, and his potential to grow as a fighter is unlimited. I didn't expect him to win on Saturday, and he easily proved me wrong. I can't wait to see what he does next, because it will be exciting.
However, Maia has only fought four UFC matches. Yes, he has won all four in breathtaking fashion, but he is still not a well-rounded fighter. His stand up needs a ton of work. How is he going to teach the next generation fighters when he doesn't know how to do it himself?
The TUF coaches in the past have been champions and legends. Starting with Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell and leading us to the current season with interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and former champion Frank Mir, one of the draws of the show was watching great fighters impart their wisdom and experience to a younger, up-and-coming crop of fighters.
There were rumors floating around that the U.S. coaching job was going to Dan Henderson, and then to Rich Franklin, but both have passed on the offer. Perhaps Maia will be offered the coaching job not because of his credentials, but because the UFC is running out of prospects.
- Demian Maia