Demian Maia


UFC contract ends with defeat
June 12, 2021
Maia lost to Belal Muhammad via unanimous decision (27-30, 28-29, 28-29) at UFC 263 on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona.
This was the last fight on Maia's UFC contract and arguably his least effective performance in recent memory. That's saying something since he was knocked out by Gilbert Burns is less than three minutes in his last bout in March 2020. Maia's entire offensive "arsenal" consisted of pushing forward for takedown attempts which he failed on most every time. It felt as if Maia knew he had no other path to victory and resigned himself to defeat. Maia has been a professional for nearly two decades. The fact he is still able to go the distance against the best welterweights in the world is impressive in its own right considering he will be turning 44 years of age this coming November. Perhaps Bellator or the PFL will be interested if the UFC decides to move on. There isn't much reason for them to bring him back considering some of the veterans they have parted ways with in recent months.
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Booked for UFC 263
April 4, 2021
Maia will fight Belal Muhammad in a welterweight bout at UFC 263 on June 12, reports.
Maia last fought in March 2020, losing via TKO to Gilbert Burns. That loss snapped a three-fight win streak. Meanwhile, Muhammad's last fight was a no contest against Leon Edwards last month, and he's 18-3-0 as an MMA fighter.
Knocked out by Gilbert Burns
March 14, 2020
Maia lost to Gilbert Burns via TKO (punches) at 2:34 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Brasilia, Brazil.
This was a fight Maia had to have and he didn't get it. It's made all the more frustrating by the fact Maia looked excellent in the early going of the bout. He picked up a pair of early takedowns and came close to clamping on a rear-naked choke. He was ultimately unable to do so and Burns floored him with a right hook when the two returned to a standing position. Maia still has plenty of game left at age 42 and his ground skills remain elite but the days of him truly competing with the best in the world at 170 pounds are probably just about off. This setback snaps a three-fight winning streak for the veteran.
Agrees to fight Gilbert Burns
January 4, 2020
Maia will face Gilbert Burns in a welterweight matchup in the co-main event at UFC Brasilia on March 14, Aaron Bronsteter of reports.
The fight has yet to be officially announced by the UFC, but Bronsteter reports that a verbal agreement is in place. Maia is coming off a win over Ben Askren via submission (rear-naked choke) at UFC Singapore in October. The 42-year-old will look to improve his winning streak to four against Burns, who carries a four-fight winning streak of his own. Burns defeated Gunnar Nelson via unanimous decision at UFC Copenhagen in September, a fight in which he displayed his improved striking skills while holding his own against Nelson's grappling. Maia is coming up on the end of his career, but he'll likely look to use his ground game to gain an advantage against Burns. Maia carries slight advantages in height and reach.
Continues to defy his advancing age
October 27, 2019
Maia defeated Ben Askren via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:54 of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Singapore.
In some ways this was a vintage performance from Maia. The finish was his ninth rear-naked choke submission in the UFC, which is a UFC record. However, the way he got to the submission was somewhat out of character. Going into this fight, Maia had only scored six reversals in his UFC career. Against Askren he scored two, including the sweep that ultimately led to the finish. On the feet, it was a mostly even affair. The ground really was the difference. Askren was able to score takedowns, but Maia was always able to defend or reverse the position. Maia is clearly nearing the end of his career. However, his ground game will always give him a chance in fights. The exciting grappling exchanges were also enough to earn the pair of combatants each a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus.
Set to fight Askren
August 20, 2019
Maia will meet Ben Askren in a welterweight matchup on October 26 in Singapore, Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie reports.
Maia will look to make it two defeats in a row for Askren, who recently suffered his first career loss in devastating fashion just over a month ago. Maia is a two-time title challenger who also currently holds an impressive feat with the second-most wins in UFC history with 21. He's currently riding some momentum after garnering back-to-back wins. At 42 years old, this will be Maia's sixth UFC main event, compared to Askren's first. A five-round affair is typically more attractive from a fantasy standpoint, though given the grappling-based styles of each fighter, that may not hold true here. Don't expect to see much striking, as the two have tallied only three total significant strikes in their last four matchups COMBINED.