On June 12 at UFC 263, Demian Maia lost a decision to surging welterweight contender Belal Muhammad. Following the fight, UFC president Dana White indicated that it was “probably” Maia’s last fight. Maia, who turns 44-years old in November, isn’t ready to call it quits just yet.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Maia explained that he hopes to fight once more in the UFC, and plans to entertain offers to compete in jiu-jitsu.
“I’ve fought my entire life in the UFC. That’s my home,” Maia said. “I want to do one last fight there, and I think it depends on what happens in Brazil. That’s a feeling my manager and I have. If they are having shows with fans here soon, I think that will draw interest from the UFC to have me fighting. I’m waiting and seeing what happens, but I do want to fight one last fight. I’m still training twice a day.”
A 2007 ADCC champion, Maia used his world-class jiu-jitsu and submission skills over the course of his illustrious 14-year UFC career. Over that course of that run, Maia challenged for both the middleweight and welterweight championship, losing to Anderson Silva and Tyron Woodley, respectively.
To the delight of grappling fans, Maia plans to compete in jiu-jitsu competitions, whether in the gi or no-gi.
“I’m getting a lot of offers to compete in jiu-jitsu,” he said. “No-gi, or with the gi eventually as well. That’s something I really want to do soon. That’s something I’ll probably do besides fighting MMA.”
Maia is specifically open to competing in Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground (SUG), a popular grappling promotion for MMA fighters wishing to test their grappling skills against other MMA fighters or professional grapplers.
“Chael has a promotion in the United States, Submission Underground, and he talked to me about the possibility of facing someone there. I think it would be cool to face someone from MMA [in jiu-jitsu] because of the [attention] that name would bring.
“If I face someone from the new generation of jiu-jitsu, he might have a name in the jiu-jitsu [community] but that’s a niche thing. If I get an MMA guy… Let me give you an example: Sonnen texted me after my last fight asking if I was interested in facing Tony Ferguson or Kamaru Usman. That’s the type of match that would not only appeal to the jiu-jitsu community but also MMA and everyone that likes fights in any way.”