Video: Demian Maia demonstrates his best choke from the back

Over the course of his 39 career MMA fights, Demian Maia firmly established himself as one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners in all of MMA. Now that he has been released from the UFC, Maia has turned his efforts to grappling competition, including the upcoming BJJ Stars 8.

Additionally, Maia has recently released an instructional that covers submissions from the back — a position he used to great success throughout his MMA career. In a recent video with Bernardo Faria, Maia demonstrates one of his favorite ways to finish the choke from the back.

Maia shares several important details. First, by keeping the choking arm bent, his opponent is unable to fully control it. Next, when he attempts to attack the choke, he uses his non-choking hand to remove his opponent’s defenses. And finally, he uses the non-choking arm to protect his choking hand, leaving his opponent largely defenseless. As Maia explains in the video, this technique works well when a skilled opponent tucks his chin to defend the choke.

Across his 28 career wins, Maia earned 14 by way of submission, including four UFC submission of the night winners. Maia has not competed since his June 2021 decision loss to Belal Muhammad at UFC 263. Shortly after that bout, the UFC declined to renew Maia’s contract.

Maia is an accomplished jiu-jitsu and grappling competitor. He was a 2005 ADCC silver medalist and a 2007 ADCC champion, and holds notable wins over Saulo RibeiroRonaldo “Jacare” Souza, and Rafael Lovato, Jr.

Maia is slated to face Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira at BJJ Stars 8 on April 30.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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