Demian Maia has emerged as a possible opponent for Georges St-Pierre’s comeback.
The legendary former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight and Middleweight champion, St-Pierre, is set to return to competition for a Dec. 2023 grappling match at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational. Excited for his opportunity to re-enter the grappling world, “Rush” doesn’t yet have an opponent.
St-Pierre, 42, recently mentioned names like Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, along with Nate and Nick Diaz as options, with the latter leading the charge. However, the two-time UFC title challenger and all-time great Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) ace, Maia, is now hinting at a potential match against the Canadian icon.
“Every now and then, something comes up that still does really motivate you,” Maia tweeted. “Grappling @GeorgesStPierre will be a huge challenge & great motivation. You GSP are one of the greatest competitors ever, whom I respect a lot. I’m game! Looking forward to competing at @ufc invitational.”
Maia, 45, fought the first half of his UFC career as a Middleweight, chasing the title worn by Anderson Silva. It wasn’t until the tail-end of St-Pierre’s Welterweight days in 2012 and 2013 that Maia made the drop to the weight class where he eventually challenged for the title opposite Tyron Woodley in July 2017. Maia lost both of his title bids by unanimous decision in each weight class but goes down in mixed martial arts (MMA) history as arguably the greatest BJJ player of all time.
A June 2021 unanimous decision loss to Belal Muhammad spelled the end for Maia in UFC after a strong 39-fight 20-year run overall in MMA that saw him go 28-11, submitting 14 of his opponents in victory.