The always masterful Demian Maia attempted to continue his welterweight ascension last night (Sat., May 13, 2017) at UFC 211 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, when he took on rising title contender Jorge Masvidal. In order for Masvidal to leave the cage victorious, his takedown defense and hand control had to be at an all-time high.
In the early going, Masvidal was able to use his speed and strength to ward off Maia’s advancements, even landing a few hard shots that stunned the Brazilian at the end of the first round. But Maia was still able to grab a hold of the former street fighter throughout all 15 minutes, forcing him to expel a ton of energy. Masvidal had to fight out of numerous rear-naked choke attempts and countless body triangles, but he was able to buckle Maia with crippling kicks to the ribs in the third round. In the end, it was Maia’s persistent grappling and cage control that stood out the most on the judges’ scorecards en route to earning the split-decision nod.
The full fight video highlights can be seen above courtesy of UFC.
With this win, Maia locks down the next title shot opposite welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, per UFC president Dana White. If that future championship bout sticks, Maia will have to be at an all-time best to submit “The Chosen One.”
For complete UFC 211 results and coverage click here.