When Demian Maia agreed to step in for the injured Santiago Ponzinibbio against Kamaru Usman in the UFC Chile main event, his hope was that it would allow him to correct a tough, two-fight losing streak. Instead, Maia was soundly beaten by Usman, surrendering a lopsided unanimous decision to the Nigerian-American wrestler.
Now on a tough, three-fight skid, Maia’s future looks nebulous. Though his world-class jiu-jitsu gives him a fighting chance against any of the world’s best fighters, he is now 40 years old, and appears to be nearing the end of the road.
Despite his current skid, however, Maia plans to fulfill the last three obligations on his current UFC contract. Over the course of these three fights, the Brazilian legend is hoping to capture the record for most wins inside the Octagon, which currently stands at 20. Given that Maia holds 19 Octagon wins at present, this certainly seems like a doable challenge for him.
Maia updated on his remaining goals and inevitable retirement plans at the UFC Chile post-fight press conference.
“I still have three fights under my contract,” Maia said through his translator (h/t MMAjunkie). “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.”
“I’m focusing on finishing my contract,” Maia added. “Those last three fights and break those records for me.
The first two losses in Maia’s current skid came to top welterweight contender Colby Covington and UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley — both wrestling specialists cut from the same cloth as Usman. The Brazilian legend currently owns an overall record of 25-9.
What do you think the future holds for Demian Maia?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/20/2018.