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UFC 211 results from last night: Demian Maia vs Jorge Masvidal fight recap

MMA: UFC 211-Maia vs Masvidal Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight contenders Demian Maia and Jorge Masvidal collided last night (May 13, 2017) at UFC 211 inside the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Maia entered this bout in a precarious position. He had already more than earned a title shot, but the fight never materialized. Last night, Maia risked it all opposite a dangerous and crafty veteran to further solidify his claim. Meanwhile, Masvidal stood to gain everything Maia could drop. “Gamebred” looked better than ever in recent appearances, and another big win here would very likely secure his own shot at the strap.

Maia wasted little time in diving into a single leg takedown. It took a numerous transitions and even a guard pull, but Maia nevertheless managed to work around his foe’s defense and secure the back mount with Masvidal on his feet.

From the back, Maia locked in a body triangle and went to work trying to slip a hand under the neck. Masvidal did an admirable job of fighting hands to stop the choke, and he eventually reversed with just seconds remaining. He finished with a big flurry, although it likely wasn’t enough to win him back the round.

Masvidal opened the second round by maintaining his range and picking shots. He was throwing one at a time, but he made each one count. In particular, his kicks were devastating, and they knocked his opponent off-balance.

After several minutes of abuse, Maia pulled half guard and managed to land a sweep. Masvidal tried to claw his way up to his feet, but Maia clung to his back and made the former Lightweight carry his weight. Eventually, he forced Masvidal to the mat, where he stayed heavy in back mount until the end of the round.

It was a tight round, as both men dominated their respective halves of the round.

Both men were patient to begin the third round, as Maia waited for his moment and Masvidal was a bit hesitant to over-extend. Masvidal definitely landed the better — or only — shots in the first half of the round, but once again Maia was able to pick up a single and convert it into a back take.

Once again, Maia secured the body triangle and double wrist-ride. Masvidal attempted to squirm his hips out, but Maia stuck to him like glue and worked ground strikes until the final bell.

It was a very competitive fight, but ultimately Maia’s grappling earned him another top win.

There’s no doubt this was a difficult win for Maia, but that was to be expected. Masvidal is an extremely experienced fighter with all the tools to trouble the Brazilian, and he did just that.

Nevertheless, Maia’s jiu-jitsu expertise carried him through the difficult moments. Once he was able to work into top position, Maia’s control was ironclad. It’s nearly impossible to escape Maia’s top control, regardless of how slick a fighter is on the ground.

Next up for Maia is the champion, Tyron Woodley. Woodley is not an easy man to take down by any means, but Maia may be crafty enough to make it happen.

This is a tough loss for Masvidal. In the second round, the fight was definitely sliding into his hands, but Maia somehow managed to land one more takedown. Once that happened, it was Masvidal’s cardio that took a hit.

It’s damn difficult to defend Maia’s grappling assault at the best of times, let alone once fatigued. On the bright side, Masvidal had some very strong moments and looked downright nasty on his feet. He’s still in the mix with the top half of the division, and he didn’t absorb all that much damage. If he can return to the cage quickly — perhaps against Neil Magny? — the potential for him to earn a title shot still exists.

Last night, Demian Maia took a competitive decision to earn a title shot. Can Maia steal the strap?

For complete UFC 211: “Miocic vs. dos Santos 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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