Things were looking pretty good for Demian Maia in the first round of his UFC Brasilia fight against Gilbert Burns ... until they weren’t. Maia was getting the best of the grappling exchanges, pulling Burns down and taking his back. It looked like Maia was en route to another backpack ride leading to a choke. But then the two separated and Burns landed a lightning fast left hook, dropping Maia to the canvas where he laid stunned. A half dozen unanswered hammerfists to the face and the fight was called.
At the time Maia protested the stoppage, but backstage with reporters he admitted maybe he was wrong about all that.
”It’s weird because everything was going right, I went to his back, I was able to take him down,” Maia said. “But I was feeling comfortable, and maybe I was feeling too comfortable. And then he got over my jab, I was jabbing and he got me over. I fell, I felt I was okay. But it’s hard to say, I need to see the fight again. I asked the ref why he stopped it, but it was his decision.”
“Burns has his merits because he got me good with his hook, and that’s it. Learning. I’m almost 40 fights, sometimes you get this kind of thing. Last time [I got KO’d] was like 10 years ago. Second time ... first time was Nate Marquardt in 2009. And now in 2020 ... he got me, what can I say?”
”It’s sad because you see the fight going your way, and then fwomp!”
”Of course, for me I thought it was a bit early, and as a competitor I say ‘Why do you stop?’” he continued. “But like I say, it’s hard to be the referee, in his shoes. It’s very hard to make this fast decision, he wants to preserve me. But for me, I say let him punch a little more because I wanna see if I’d be able to recover. I don’t know if I’d be able, but I wanna know.”
The loss snaps a three-fight win streak for Maia and ends his final run up the very competitive welterweight ladder. Now Maia is looking for a final fight against a proper legend, and he has two options he thinks would be optimal
”It’s probably going to be my last one,” he said. “I’ve been in this sport for a long time and the UFC for so long. I’m very happy with what I did, but I wanna do one more. Let’s see what happens. I think there’s two guys: one is Diego Sanchez, because he’s been asking for this fight a long time so I wanna fight him in my last fight because he’s an old legend, too. And the other one is Donald Cerrone also would be interesting because he has one more win than me.”
Maia is referring to the “Most UFC Wins” record, currently held by Donald Cerrone at 23. Maia sits at 22, and then let’s not forget Diego Sanchez just five slots lower at 19 wins. So you can put us down as big fans of Maia facing either “Cowboy” or “Nightmare.”