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Demian Maia isn’t retiring: ‘I intend to fight for another year or two’

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Despite a bad loss to Colby Covington, Demian Maia pledges to carry on fighting.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Sao Paulo-Maia vs Covington Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Demian Maia has been near the top of whatever division he has competed in for almost a decade now. The former BJJ superstar has had a long and winding road in his MMA career, and just short of his 40th birthday, has now lost two bouts in a row and fallen down the welterweight ladder.

Many who saw his performance against Colby Covington came away thinking the end was near for Maia. After a strong first round, he completely gassed out and was bloodied and beaten up for the next 10 minutes, dropping a unanimous decision. Retirement could have been something the Brazilian might have considered, since he only has one fight left on his contract. But at the UFC Sao Paulo post-fight press conference, he stated that he intends to continue his fighting career (via MMA Fighting):

“I intend on fighting for another year or two.”

He was quick to point out that his last two opponents, Covington and UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, were excellent wrestlers and he has faced guys from the same camp three times in a row. That makes things much more difficult:

“I had problems taking Woodley down and we changed a lot of things, but we also have to remember that I fought against two great wrestlers in my last two fights,” Maia said. “Woodley and Colby, an All-American from Oregon University. For sure, I fought against three wrestlers from American Top Team in my last three fights, and people try to figure your game plan, they study, and it gets harder.”

“My goal is to keep on fighting,” Maia said. “It’s a very tough sport. MMA is a tough sport, I will think about that. I have been in the UFC for 10 years and every time it is an emotional roller-coaster. It’s something that if you’ve never been in it you’ll never understand.”