Demian Maia believes his submission win over Ben Askren was massive for his legacy.
Last October, in the main event of UFC Singapore, Maia was taking on Ben Askren who was fresh off the five-second knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal. Despite that, many thought “Funky” would win the fight. Throughout the scrap it was competitive but in the third-round, the Brazilian sunk in a rear-naked choke and submitted the American.
The victory extended Maia’s win streak to three and Askren retired from the sport following that loss. But, what makes it so good for the Brazilian’s legacy is the fact many thought Askren was the best grappler of all-time.
“The fight with Ben, maybe one day I’m going to look back and maybe see that is my greatest fight. For me, all the people who like grappling, they were really excited for this fight for many years. Not just for last year but I remember Ben was in other events, people were asking me if it would be a dream match to fight him,” Maia said to the UFC. “He’s a unique guy also, he represents wrestling in a unique way, and everything he does is using his wrestling. He and I are the only two guys who do that really purely today. So, for my career and for my legacy it was a very important fight. I had a lot of pressure going into that fight because of that. I knew everything involved and I knew how good he was.”
It was no doubt a massive win for Demian Maia and his career. He’s now set to return to the Octagon this Saturday in the co-main event of UFC Brasilia where he will battle Gilbert Burns. Should he win here, he says he thinks he could get back into title contention.
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/13/2020.