If you are a fan of mixed martial arts (MMA), you may have wondered if Jennifer Maia and Demian Maia are related. They share the same last name, they are both Brazilian, and they both compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). But are they really family members, or is it just a coincidence?
According to Wikipedia, Jennifer Maia and Demian Maia are not related by blood or marriage. They have different parents, different birthplaces, and different backgrounds. Jennifer Maia was born in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, on October 6, 1988. She started training in muay Thai at the age of 15, and later transitioned to boxing and MMA. She is the former Invicta FC Flyweight World Champion, and currently competes in the women’s flyweight division of the UFC.
Demian Maia was born in São Paulo, Brazil, on November 6, 1977. He started training in judo at the age of four, and later learned kung fu, karate, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). He is a fifth-degree black belt in BJJ, and has won several titles in grappling tournaments. He has competed in two UFC title fights, losing against Anderson Silva for the middleweight championship in 2010, and Tyron Woodley for the welterweight championship in 2017. He currently competes in the welterweight division of the UFC.
Why do they have the same last name?
Maia is a common Portuguese surname that originates from the Latin word “maius”, meaning “greater” or “superior”. It is also a name of a Roman goddess of spring and growth. The surname Maia can be found in Portugal, Brazil, Spain, Italy, France, and other countries with Latin influence. According to Forebears, there are about 374,000 people with the surname Maia in the world, and most of them live in Brazil.
Therefore, it is not surprising that there are two MMA fighters with the same last name from Brazil. It is just a matter of chance that they both ended up in the same sport and the same organization. There are other examples of unrelated MMA fighters with the same last name, such as Anderson Silva and Wanderlei Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Gilbert Burns and Herbert Burns.
How do they feel about each other?
Even though Jennifer Maia and Demian Maia are not related, they have expressed respect and admiration for each other as fellow fighters and compatriots. In an interview with MMA Fighting, Jennifer Maia said that she was honored to share the same last name with Demian Maia, who she considers one of her idols. She said:
“He’s one of my idols since I started training jiu-jitsu. I always watched his fights and learned from him. He’s an example for me inside and outside the Octagon. He’s very humble and respectful. I’m very happy to have this connection with him.”
Demian Maia also praised Jennifer Maia for her skills and achievements in MMA. In a tweet, he congratulated her for winning the Invicta FC flyweight title in 2016. He wrote:
“Congratulations @jennimaiaufc for your great victory yesterday at @InvictaFights , you are a great fighter!”
Jennifer Maia and Demian Maia are not related by blood or marriage. They just happen to have the same last name, which is common in Brazil. They are both successful MMA fighters who compete in the UFC, and they have shown mutual respect and support for each other as fellow Brazilians. They are not family members, but they are friends and colleagues who share a passion for martial arts.