It didn’t take long after Demian Maialosing UFC 263 last Saturday for speculation about its future.
Maia (28-11 MMA, 22-11 UFC) abandoned a unanimous decision to Belal Muhammad (19-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in a welterweight bout on the main card at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The setback gave the Brazilian back-to-back defeats after a three-game winning streak in 2019.
UFC President Dana White said after the event that he was probably the fight was Maia’s last in the UFC, which would end one of the longest terms for a fighter in company history. Maia, famous for her Brazilian jiu-jitsu, is a two-time UFC welterweight and middleweight title challenger. He debuted with the promotion to UFC 77 in 2007.
Monday he recognized in a Instagram position that his time as a fighter is coming to an end. He will be 44 in November, but has said he hopes the UFC gives him one last fight – and that he hopes that fight will be against another longtime face of the promotion: Nate Diaz.
Diaz (20-13 MMA, 15-11 UFC) abandoned a decision to Leon Edwards (19-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) in a five-round fight just after Maia’s loss to Muhammad.
“Last night I put in a lot of effort and unfortunately I wasn’t able to put in my best performance,” said Maia. “As frustrated as I am, I kept trying until the end and it’s over now. I’m already looking forward to it because I know the time flies, and I won’t be doing it for very long.
“@ natediaz209 I saw your quote at the press conference and I think you are great too. You are a great fighter who also represents Jiu Jitsu and you are real I respect that.
“Regardless of last night, I know I still have one fight left in me, and it’s no secret that I feel like @UFC is my home, where I want to end my career.
“Now I don’t know if they’ll give me another fight, but if they do, I would be honored to do my last MMA fight with you, someone who always comes to fight, who represents BJJ and that I respect.
“I had a long career, fought pretty much everyone and proudly represented Jiu Jitsu the best I could. If I have one more, I don’t want to waste it on it. someone I don’t respect. So if you want it, and the UFC wants to do it, it will happen, and this will be my last dance. Great respect. #garderitreal #ufc ”
Whether Maia can convince White to give her another chance remains to be seen.
“I think that was his last fight (with the UFC),” White told MMA Junkie at the UFC 263 post-fight press conference. “It was the last fight of his contract. He is 44 years old. He was so good at getting in there, securing the teardown, getting the upper hand on people and just strangling them or grabbing something or twisting it until you stop. He couldn’t do it tonight. He is 44 years old. He’s a great guy. He had a great career. Yes, I would say that’s probably it.
Maia also seems to have some work to do to convince Diaz. At the UFC 263 pre-fight press conference, the popular MMA antihero was asked if he would be interested in a showdown with Maia.
Diaz said that being from a background similar to jiu-jitsu, he sees himself as part of the same team as Maia.
“I have a lot of respect for guys like that,” Diaz said. “… I don’t hunt or seek these kinds of fights. I feel like I’m pretty much on the same side as them. I feel like I represent the same thing – the background of jiu-jitsu. I wouldn’t say I would like to fight Demian Maia. I think he’s awesome.