Demian Maia


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.
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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.
Decisions Anthony Rocco Martin
June 29, 2019
Maia defeated Anthony Rocco Martin via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Minneapolis.
You can train all you want leading up to the fight, but nothing can simulate being inside the Octagon and trying to deal with the pressure of Maia. Although he landed just 3-of-9 takedown attempts, Maia built up enough equity in Rounds 1 and 2 to survive a sub-par final frame. The Brazilian is hands down one of the greatest mat specialists in the history of the sport, but he will turn 42 years old in November and he doesn't have a knockout win in nearly seven years. Maia remains an easy top-10 guy at 170 pounds, but the days of him competing against the very best welterweights in the world have seemingly come and gone. He'll continue to serve as a welterweight gatekeeper for as long as he chooses to call cage fighting his profession.
Slated for UFC Minneapolis
May 23, 2019
Maia will take on Anthony Rocco Martin in a welterweight matchup at UFC Minneapolis on June 29.
Rumors of this fight being in the works were reported in late-April, but the matchup is now being listed as the third-to-last fight on the official UFC website. Maia bounced back from a three-fight losing streak in February with a win over Lyman Good, which will effectively earn him an opponent riding a four-fight winning streak. Martin is more than a decade younger than Maia, but the two measure up roughly equally. Maia's jiu-jitsu prowess is no secret to fight fans at this point, and with Martin owning just a 50 percent takedown defense, it could be a long (or short) night at the office if he's forced to fight off his back.