Maia, one of the oldest fighters on the roster at 43-years-old, lost via unanimous decision to Belal Muhammad at UFC 263 on Saturday. It was his second consecutive defeat and the last fight on his UFC contract.
Leading up to the fight, speculation was rife that, win or lose, Maia would be facing the ax — a prospect which the #9-ranked UFC welterweight said he was all too aware of.
And now, UFC President Dana White has seemingly confirmed that Maia’s UFC career may be coming to an end.
“I think that was his last fight,” White said when asked about Maia at the UFC 263 post-fight press conference. (h/t Alexander K. Lee at MMA Fighting). “It was the last fight on his deal. He’s [43 years old]. He’s been so good at getting in there, securing the takedown, getting on top of people and just strangling them or grabbing something and twisting it until you quit, and he couldn’t get it done tonight. He’s [43 years old], he’s a great guy, he’s had a great career, and yes, I would say that’s probably it.”
In his fight with Muhammed, jiu-jitsu specialist Maia struggled to impose his legendary ground game, landing only one takedown from a slew of attempts. Muhammad outstruck the Brazilian over three rounds 92-23.
Prior to his two most recent losses, Maia was riding a three-fight win-streak, with wins over Ben Askren, Anthony Rocco Martin and Lyman Good.
If Maia has fought his last fight in the UFC, he will leave an impressive legacy as one of the promotion’s most decorated submission specialists. The Brazilian has amassed a 22-11 record since making his UFC debut in 2007, with 11 victories coming via submission. Maia will likely end his career one short of equalling Donald Cerrone’s record for most wins in the UFC.
What do you think? Have we seen the last of Demian Maia in the UFC?