Demian Maia has no intention of hanging up his gloves after suffering his third consecutive loss, which came in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 129 headliner.
Maia (25-9 MMA, 19-9 UFC) was overworked by Kamaru Usman (13-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) for the majority of five rounds en route to a unanimous- decision loss, which aired on FS1 from Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile. It’s the first time in the Brazilian’s career that he’s dropped three consecutive fights.
With the fighter now 40, it’s fair to wonder if Maia’s unprecedented skid could spark a desire to exit the sport. He’s lost to three of the best in Usman, Colby Covington and reigning champion Tyron Woodley, though, and he said that’s not enough to convince him to hang up his gloves, especially considering the unfriendly nature of those style matchups.
“I still have three fights under my contract,” Maia said through an interpreter. “I want to do those three fights. It was short notice for this fight; I only prepared for three weeks. And actually my last three fights were against wrestlers. My game plan is to take the fighters down, so it was tough fights. But I still have the will to finish my contract.”
Maia accepted the UFC Fight Night 129 main-event spot as a replacement for injured Santiago Ponzinibbio. In a classy post-fight message on social media, Maia said he knew the task was an uphill climb, but he wanted to give himself and Usman the opportunity to compete (via Twitter):
Maia has been a staple of the UFC roster for more than a decade. Completing three more fights could mean he’s in the sport for roughly two more years, and in that time, Maia said there’s more he hopes to accomplish.
The jiu-jitsu specialist already holds the record for most wins for a Brazilian fighter in UFC history. Those 19 victories are also one shy of the all-time company record, and Maia said he wants to give himself a shot at breaking that mark over his final three fights.
“I’m focusing on finishing my contract,” Maia said. “Those last three fights and break those records for me.
- The 6 biggest takeaways from UFC Chile, including what that unspectacular headliner revealed
- UFC Fight Night 129 video highlights: Kamaru Usman vs. Demian Maia
- Tyron Woodley: Kamaru Usman's flaws would lead to 'waking up with the smelling salt' against me
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Demian Maia not retiring after UFC Chile loss, plans to finish contract and break records