After losing to Belal Muhammad at UFC 263, the ever-popular Demian Maia heard UFC President Dana White say “that’s probably it” as far as his tenure in the Octagon is concerned. However, Maia doesn’t want to call it a career just yet.
The 43-year-old told MMA Fighting that he wants to fight one more time in the UFC and then walk away from MMA to focus on teaching jiu jitsu and competing in grappling. When it comes to White’s words, Maia shrugged them off.
“It has happened other times, we’ve all seen it before, the company changing their stance and plans. It depends a lot on what happens in the market.”
“I’ve fought my entire life in the UFC. That’s my home,” continued Maia. “I want to do one last fight there, and I think it depends on what happens in Brazil. That’s a feeling my manager and I have. If they are having shows with fans here soon, I think that will draw interest from the UFC to have me fighting. I’m waiting and seeing what happens, but I do want to fight one last fight. I’m still training twice a day.”
Maia told MMA Fighting that for his last fight he’d like to take on either Donald Cerrone, Nick Diaz or Nate Diaz.
Maia also had a few names he’d be interested in taking on in grappling competition. In the past the UFC has blocked a number of fighters competing in combat sports outside of the UFC. If Maia is permitted to, he said he wants to face big UFC stars on the mat, claiming that Chael Sonnen had already been in touch about potential bouts with Tony Ferguson or Kamaru Usman in Submission Underground.
The former World Jiu-Jitsu and ADCC World champion added that he’d also like a trilogy grappling bout with the recently retired Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza and is also interested in taking on the “new generation” of grapplers.
Maia admitted that a lot of these desires are up in the air. However, one thing he was more clear about was whether he wanted to continue fighting in MMA outside of the UFC.
“That’s hard to say… Actually, no, my initial answer would be no. I don’t want to fight in some place else, I want to be in the UFC, but I do have a big dream of fighting MMA in Japan. But I haven’t thought about it. If there was a huge promotion like in the PRIDE days, sometimes I think about it. But the first plan, if you ask me, is to do my last fight in the UFC.”
Maia has competed for the UFC on 33 occasions. In the Octagon he holds submission wins over Jon Fitch, Neil Magny, Matt Brown, Carlos Condit and Ben Askren. He twice competed for a UFC championship.
At UFC 112 in 2010 he lost a unanimous decision to Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title. In 2017, after a seven-fight win streak, he lost a unanimous decision to Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight title.
Maia’s most recent fight was at UFC 263 in June. There he lost a unanimous decision to Belal Muhammad. That loss followed a TKO loss (his first stoppage loss since 2009) to Gilbert Burns.