Judging by his laid-back and reserved demeanor, you likely won’t perceive Demain Maia as the type who’d get into a bar brawl. But as the former UFC standout revealed in a recent appearance on the Inteligência Ltda. Podcast, not only did he get into a scuffle, but he was also badly hurt in the process.
According to Maia, the incident happened some years ago in a bar in Sweden involving some alleged members of a gang from the Middle East.
“I’m in the corner, and like in other clubs outside Brazil, at 2 AM, they turn on the light. 2 AM, all lights turned on. All the security guards went down to evacuate people and things like that,” Maia said in Portuguese.
“When I stood up, there were some guys from that gang there and they saw me. I think it was a small town thing. The guy came at me to attack me, but not exactly attack me. He came to push me. No reason, man. They were very messy. They kind of ran the place.”
Maia says his reaction to the push was a bit over the top, something he says was aggravated by a knee injury he was dealing with at the time.
“I was upset because my knee wasn’t getting better. I had hurt myself again in Sweden teaching class and stuff like that. When the guy came to put his hand on me, I threw an elbow at him. In his face,” he said.
“But that elbow was so hard, he didn’t fall over. He just imploded in the same place, you know. Do you know when a guy lands on his own leg? Yeah, man. He imploded.
“Man, by the time he fell, my first thought was, ‘God, please help me. I hope I didn’t kill this guy.’ Because it was too strong and the guy blacked out right away. I thought, ‘Imagine I killed this guy, I’m going to be f—ked, stuck in Sweden for the rest of my life.’
“F—k, no one would want to know he came to assault me. In the end, I would have killed the guy.”
Knowing he may have incited an altercation with the men, Maia prepared himself for a brawl. Then came another individual, whom he says, stabbed him in the belly.
“Suddenly, I see a small guy coming up beside me quietly. All this I’m talking about was in five or six seconds, I don’t know. But very fast. The elbow, two punches. I walked backward, the guy came and hit me in the belly. This guy didn’t hit me in the belly, he stabbed me. And I knew it right away,” he recalled.
“Why did I notice? Because these guys don’t know how to fight, they’re just making trouble. If the guy isn’t a very good boxer who knows what to do, he’ll never hit you in the belly. He’ll hit the head. The guy will try to hurt you in the face. And as soon as it hit down here, I felt a knock and they ran away.”
“I had this thing in my head, ‘Can’t get air, can’t get air.’ I knew that getting air could cause embolism, and I got this paranoia. I still didn’t know if I was stabbed. I just felt the knock, but I was suspicious. When the guys ran away, I did it here. I looked over quickly and my shirt was soaked with blood.”
Maia was rushed to the hospital right after. Fortunately for him, the situation didn’t end as badly as it easily could have.
The 44-year-old Maia last fought at UFC 263 in June against Belal Muhammad and lost via unanimous decision. He was subsequently released from the roster two months later.