Last night, in the main event of the UFC’s debut in Santiago, Chile, surging UFC welterweight contender Kamaru Usman picked up his biggest win yet, authoring a dominant unanimous decision victory over Brazilian jiu jitsu ace Demian Maia.
Usman, who was originally expected to battle Argentine striker Santiago Ponzinibbio in the UFC Chile main event, faced a spot of adversity in the first round, succumbing to Maia’s first takedown attempt, and nearly giving up his back to the vaunted grappler. From there, however, Usman thwarted every one of Maia’s takedowns. This allowed him to bludgeon the Brazilian on the feet for the remainder of the fight.
While Usman’s victory was perhaps not the kind we’ll remember for decades, it was undeniably impressive, and it could well set him up for a number-one contender fight in the crowded UFC welterweight division.
Here’s how the MMA community reacted to Kamaru Usman’s lopsided, five-round win over Demian Maia. Highlights include reactions to referee Leon Roberts’s questionable stand-ups, and Usman’s strange hammer-fists to Maia’s feet.
Maia trying to backpack. Might have a standing… twister??? #ufcchile pic.twitter.com/vouvvtfFOa
— The Mane Event™ (@EliasTheodorou) May 20, 2018
Excuse me Mr. Leon Roberts sir, grappling IS an aspect of #MMA OK, good talk. #UFCChile
— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) May 20, 2018
Damian (one of the best BJJ artist) only losses to top level wrestlers. Wrestling beats Jiu Jitsu in fighting.
— Ramsey Nijem (@RamseyNijem) May 20, 2018
Usman with some wicked hammerfists to the top of Maia's feet in the third round. Brutal shots. Stop the fight!
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 20, 2018
This is so frustrating
— Brad Tavares (@BradTavares) May 20, 2018
You know you're watching a weird matchup when people are recommending that Demian Maia sticks to striking, instead of shooting for takedowns. #UFCChile
— Tom Taylor (@TomTayMMA) May 20, 2018
Great display by Usman! Dominant performance over a veteran. Powerful, technical and very smart fighter. Good win for him here 👏🏻👏🏻 #UFCChile
— Megan Anderson (@MeganAnderson) May 20, 2018
49-46 Usman@MMADecisions @bjpenndotcom #UFCChile
— Drake Riggs (@DrakeRiggs_) May 20, 2018
With his win over Maia, Usman improves to a fantastic 13-1 overall. His last eight wins have occurred in the UFC’s Octagon, where he’s bested Hayder Hassan, Leon Edwards, Alexander Yakovlev, Warlley Alves, Sean Strickland, Sergio Moraes, Emil Meek, and of course, Maia.
Maia, meanwhile, has fallen on tough times. After amassing a six-fight win-streak between 2014 and 2017, the Brazilian legend has come up short in a title fight with welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, a followup bout with Colby Covington, and now Usman. All three of Maia’s recent foils stand out as world class wrestlers. He’s now owns an overall record of 25-9.
What did you think of Kamaru Usman’s defeat of Demian Maia in the UFC Chile main event? Join the conversation in the comments section below.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/20/2018.