This weekend, on the main card of UFC Fortaleza, former UFC middleweight and welterweight title challenger Demian Maia will return to the cage for a scrap with Lyman Good.
However this fight unfolds, retirement is looking like a more and more imminent possibility for the 41-year-old Brazilian grappler. That being said, he says he wants to fight out the final three obligations on his current UFC contract before he makes any big decisions on his retirement.
“I go fight by fight,” Maia told MMAjunkie this week. “Of course when you’re winning, the title is much more vivid in your mind. First, I need to win this fight on Saturday. Maybe win one, two, and then start thinking again. We’ll see how it’s going to be this year. It will be natural. I will start to switch the mindset. Right now my focus is: I have three more fights on my contract, I want to win those fights. That’s it.”
Demian Maia will step into the cage in Fortaleza on a three-fight skid, but he assures his ability has not declined. He’s just been fighting really high-level opponents.
“I look in perspective and see that even though they were losses, it was to the top-level guys,” Maia said. “It’s something I need to keep in my mind. I don’t feel like my performance is dropping. I don’t feel my excitement and passion to train dropping. It was a fight. The difference is sometimes when you’re 30 years old, you lose some fights and you say, ‘Oh, it was a bad phase.’ But when you’re 41 and lose some fights they say, ‘Oh, it’s a drop in performance.’
What do you think the future holds for the Brazilian MMA legend Demian Maia?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/31/2019.