On cusp of history, Demian Maia focused on title – not records – at UFC 214

LA MIRADA, Calif. – Demian Maia has the opportunity to make all sorts of history Saturday should he claim the UFC welterweight championship from Tyron Woodley.

Not only can Maia (25-6 MMA, 19-6 UFC), who meets Woodley (17-3-1 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC) in the UFC 214 pay-per-view co-headliner at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., tie the record for most victories, he can also tie the record for submissions if he can force Woodley to tap out.

Tyron Woodley: Preparing for Demian Maia at UFC 214 made me a better fighter

Maia relishes the opportunity to make that happen but said he’s removing it from his focus because ultimately the win is what’s most important.

“This week I just tried to take this away from my mind because this will maybe make me lose a little bit of my focus, and I don’t want that,” Maia said at today’s UFC 214 open workouts. “It would be great if I win, especially by submission because of all these records. But records will be broken one day. The thing that will be mine forever is the belt. That’s why I’m going to do my best to get this belt on Saturday.”

UFC champ Tyron Woodley: Beating Demian Maia ‘not a huge step’ to becoming GOAT

Another piece of UFC history at stake is the fact Maia could become the first Brazilian-born welterweight champion. At 39, he can also be the oldest to ever hold the 170-pound belt. He said bringing the belt to his native Brazil would be an honor, because he believes the notoriety of MMA has somewhat fell in the country. He wants restore its prominence.

“I just felt the last year it started to drop a little bit, the interest for MMA and the UFC (in Brazil),” Maia said. “I think one of the reasons is the lack of Brazilian champions. … I hope we get the belt, and we bring back this to Brazil. It’s so strong in our culture that I want that to keep strong.”

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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