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Demian Maia hopes for one more fight in UFC: ‘I’m not officially retired’

UFC 263: Adesanya v Vettori 2 Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Demian Maia has been flirting with retirement for a few years now, but targets one final dance.

A former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title challenger in two different divisions (Middleweight and Welterweight), Maia has etched his name into the mixed martial arts (MMA) history books as arguably the greatest Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner of all time.

Now 44 years old, Maia realizes it’s just about time to call it a career ... officially.

“I’m not officially retired,” Maia told Morning Kombat. “I wanna do one more fight in UFC, but I don’t want to fight at any other event because UFC is my house, it’s been my house for the last 15 years. So if I get another chance, I will do one more fight there but I’m pretty much focused more on my other parts of my career. I still train in MMA, I still do boxing and Thai-boxing with takedowns, this kind of thing, so that I can keep sharp if I need to do one more fight but at the same time I’m focused a lot on jiu-jitsu again, sport jiu-jitsu. Because I want to compete more in these rules. And the thing is, I feel pretty healthy, I feel pretty well in terms of conditioning. So I said why not give it a couple more years fighting in something like jiu-jitsu or MMA and then retired.”

Maia last fought in June 2021 against Belal Muhammad at UFC 263, suffering a unanimous decision defeat. The loss put him on a two-fight skid in what was the last fight of his UFC contract.

“I am out of my contract, that was the last one (with Muhammad),” Maia said. “Actually, the last one was supposed to be Ben Askren on the previous contract and that was my goal to retire at that time but when I won against Ben Askren it was like three in a row so I said, ‘Okay, if I win I want to do a little bit more.’ So we did the contract for a couple more fights after Askren’s fight and that was the Belal fight.”

Since his loss to Muhammad, Maia earned a triangle choke submission victory over Alex Oliveira earlier this month (May 1, 2022) in a grappling match. The match was his first since 2007 when he won the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Fighting World Championship before his debut in UFC.

Maia returns to the mat for a match with Benson Henderson on June 25, 2022, at Polaris Pro in Wales, United Kingdom.