Grappling legend and UFC welterweight Demian Maia is set on his idea of a departure fight from the UFC, and big names are on the tip of his tongue.
Demian Maia, 43, last competed in the Octagon at UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2 but lost a unanimous decision to rising contender Belal Muhammad. Now on a two-fight skid, the legendary grappler is ready for a retirement fight but is seeking big names for his final hurrah.
Demian Maia Eyes Cowboy or Diaz As Options For Retirement Fight
Specifically, Maia expressed interest in a fight with Nate Diaz, but after speaking with AG Fight, the Brazilian indicated that he is open to the retirement fight being with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone as well.
“I’m interested (in continuing). I would like to do one more fight, I had said that before. I had a surprise with Nate Diaz’s challenge after his fight, it’s a fight that interests me a lot, the other would be against (Donald) Cerrone, who is also about to end his career. It depends on the UFC wanting it, whether Nate really wants it. If Nate wants to, they do it, because he’s a guy who sells a lot. It ultimately depends on Dana. After my fight I sent a message to Dana talking about my desire to face Cerrone, also thanking me for everything I went through in the organization. (But) I still haven’t had an answer,” Maia said.
Following his performance against Muhammad, Maia found the fight to be anticlimactic, as he was not able to get his offense going. While some might accredit that to the relentless pressure “Remember The Name” put on Maia, even so, it looks like Maia wants his swan song to play differently than the results that echoed in the Gila River Arena on that June night in Arizona.
“This last fight on the contract was a huge anticlimax for me. (Muhammad) is really tough, a great athlete, but because I played defensively, I wanted to shine more, show that I was prepared, evolved and that anticlimax remained. A fight with Nate or Cerrone, we’d go out in a fight, no matter what happened, and we’d kill that urge.” Maia said.
Demian Maia made his debut in the organization at UFC 77: Hostile Territory in 2007, and is one of the longest-tenured athletes still competing with the organization. It remains to be seen if Maia will get his wish from the UFC but is adamant that a fight with either Nate Diaz or Donald Cerrone would deliver a thrilling exit to his storied career.
Would you like to see Maia take on Donald Cerrone or Nate Diaz?