Earlier this month, on the main card of UFC 211, Brazilian grappling specialist Demian Maia scored a competitive but undeniably impressive decision defeat over the ever dangerous Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal. With this win, the Brazilian star improved his win-streak to seven, and appeared to earn himself a crack at UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Woodley, of course, has made no secret of the fact that a bout with Maia doesn’t especially interest him. That said, he has promised he’d take the fight if this is the direction the UFC wants to go in, and has even had a little fun with the possibility, playing on Demian Maia’s “Brazilian Backpack” nickname by wearing a backpack in some of his recent training footage.
At the UFC Athlete’s retreat, which went down in Las Vegas this weekend, the two welterweight stars crossed paths, and had a bit of fun ahead of their potential showdown. In a video shared by UFC on Fox, Woodley can be seen taking Maia’s back, while Maia laughs and ultimately taps out to Woodley’s play choke.
While it’s great to see these two potential opponents getting along so well, the most interesting part of this video occurs after their horseplay, when Woodley encourages fans to stay tuned, implying that a fight with Maia is a very real possibility.
“Alright people, stay tuned,” the champ says in this video. “We choppin’ it up right now. Who knows? Who knows what’s going to happen?”
Woodley was last seen in the cage in March, when he defended his title with a close decision defeat of Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. This bout was a rematch of a wild, November draw. Maia, meanwhile, preceded his defeat of Masvidal with a jaw-dropping submission defeat Carlos Condit.
Do you think Demian Maia will get the next crack at Tyron Woodley?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/21/2017.