Jennifer Maia

Brazil

Inks six-fight deal with UFC
FlyweightUFC
August 25, 2019
Maia has signed a six-fight deal with the UFC, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Maia is currently booked for what many believe to be a title eliminator against Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 244 in New York, but will enter that contest with a bit of job security. While the fact she missed weight for her previous fight against Roxanne Modafferi is a bit of a black mark on her UFC run, Maia claims she has put those issues behind her and has her sights set on Valentina Shevchenko's belt. Whether or not that materializes in 2020 is something that remains to be seen, but the key takeaway here is that the UFC is serious about its female 125-division, and having Maia around for the foreseeable future will help guarantee some depth in this weight class.
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Draws Chookagian in New York
FlyweightUFC
August 14, 2019
Maia will take on Katlyn Chookagian in a flyweight matchup at UFC 244 on Nov. 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York, Farah Hannoun of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
While Maia dropped her UFC debut to recent title contender Liz Carmouche, she's since bounced back with consecutive victories. After a dominant effort against Roxanne Modafferi in July, she'll look to take on arguably the division's top remaining contender in an effort to catapult herself into the title conversation. Maia doesn't fit the traditional Brazilian grappling stereotype, as only four of her 17 wins are via submission and she has yet to record a takedown in three UFC fights. She does land 4.11 significant strikes per minute, and although it's less than Chookagian's mark, she's done a better job at avoiding damage to date. Look for this to be a close matchup, but not necessarily a fantasy-friendly one. All 10 of the duo's combined UFC fights have gone to the judges.
Takes clear decision from Modafferi
FlyweightUFC
July 20, 2019
Maia defeated Roxanne Modafferi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC San Antonio on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
The first round set the tone for this fight, as the duo went back and forth between dominant position in the clinch. A takedown and a few shots on the break were likely enough for Maia to take the first period. She took that momentum into the second round, landing the better and harder shots during the time spent in the middle of the Octagon. While known more for her grappling, it became apparent that Maia's biggest advantage here would be in the striking department. The third round was more of the same, with Maia holding her own in the clinch and getting the better of the striking exchanges. This was an overall solid performance, but it's absolutely discounted by the fact that Maia missed weight. The extra three pounds did seem to have an effect here, so while she improved to 17-5-1, it won't do much for her standing with UFC brass.
Fight going ahead despite missed weight
FlyweightUFC
July 19, 2019
Maia weighed in at 129 pounds for her scheduled flyweight matchup against Roxanne Modafferi at UFC San Antonio on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Maia will not be allowed to weigh in again after missing the 126-pound flyweight limit for a non-title fight, but the bout will go on as scheduled, with Maia forfeiting 20 percent of her purse to Modafferi. As of Friday morning, Maia remains approximately a (-140) betting favorite for the preliminary matchup.
Added to San Antonio card
FlyweightUFC
June 19, 2019
Maia will take on Roxanne Modafferi in a flyweight matchup at UFC San Antonio on July 20, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Maia is serving as a replacement fighter after it was announced that Liz Carmouche withdrew to take part in the UFC Flyweight Championship. Maia faced Carmouche just over a year ago in her UFC debut but lost via unanimous decision. Since then, she won her only other UFC outing against Alexis Davis at UFC Fight Night 148 back in March.
Uses boxing to get first UFC win
FlyweightUFC
March 23, 2019
Maia defeated Alexis Davis via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night 148 in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Maia may have been looking to make a statement after coming off a six-month suspension due to a failed USADA test, as she threw her hands early and often in this one, stinging Davis when she would try to blitz into the pocket with strikes. An ill-timed kick in the second round forced her to spend time on her back but she reverted back to her boxing in the third frame to take the decision. Maia is a former Invicta champion, and certainly has the technical striking to be a force in this division but she needs to work on her ground defense before she can be considered a contender. Maia improves to 16-5-1 in professional MMA as a result of the victory.