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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Demian Maia after losing third straight at UFC Chile?

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Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC Fight Night 129 blew the roof off Movistar Arena last Saturday night (May 19, 2018) in Santiago, Chile.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Alexa Grasso, who suffered a quick first-round submission loss to Tatiana Suarez (see it again here) in the co-main event of the evening.

But which fighter is suffering from one of the worst post-fight hangovers, now two days removed from the show?

Demian Maia.

Maia wasn’t scheduled for a fight up until Santiago Ponzinibbio got injured and was forced to bow out of his fight against Kamaru Usman. Being the warrior that he is, Maia stepped in on a few weeks notice to face a man who no one allegedly wants to see inside the Octagon.

Demian, though, stepped up to the plate in a big way, which was a pretty good decision, as a win would’ve put him right into the mix and help him end the bleeding of back-to-back losses. And he could’ve been the first to hand “The Nigerian Nightmare” inside the Octagon.

Unfortunately for the submission wizard, he didn’t have much to offer the 170-pound banger, as Usman stuffed every one of Maia’s takedowns, preventing him from going into his bag of tricks and doing what he does best. Still, it’s not like Usman had his best performance, either.

Indeed, Usman — who we think was better than 30-percent going into the fight -- couldn't score the spectacular finish or dominant five-round beatdown he would’ve liked. After the fight, though, Kamaru revealed he broke not one, but both of his hands early in the bout, preventing from dishing out the punishment he had planned.

Nevertheless, he did enough to score a unanimous decision win and hand Maia his third straight defeat, which pretty much ended any chances of him getting back to the big dance. Afterward, Demian put any talks of him possible starting his retirement early to rest, saying he intends to keep fighting on.

Still, retirement is in Maia’s future, but it won’t be for at least another three bouts as he recently inked a new four fight deal with UFC, with his bout against Usman being the first.

As for what’s next for the 40-year old combatant, that’s a tough call as there isn’t anyone ranked below him that he has yet to face. At least not one that makes sense or is on a losing streak, as well.

That said, the only fight I can think of for Maia is one against Tim Means, who isn’t ranked in the top 15. Sure, Demian is currently sitting at No. 5, but don’t expect that to stand after dropping his third straight. Means, meanwhile, has suffered two losses in a row and in desperate need of a win. But he is still a scrappy fighter and can definitely give Demian more than he wants.

Unless, of course, you have a better idea?

For complete UFC Chile results and coverage click here.