Demian Maia ‘not officially retired,’ wants UFC to re-sign him for MMA sendoff

·2 min read

Demian Maia is still hopeful to fight one more time in MMA, but there is a key stipulation.

Maia (28-11 MMA, 22-11 UFC), a former two-time UFC title challenger, is currently a free agent and not contractually linked to an organization. The 44-year-old is more than content with what he’s accomplished but would like to step inside the cage one last time to put a bow on his career.

The problem, however, is that Maia refuses to fight unless it’s for the UFC. He would like the promotion to ink him to at least a one-fight deal and allow him to close a historic career on his own terms.

“No, I’m not officially retired,” Maia told Luke Thomas of “Morning Kombat” in a recent interview. “I want to do one more fight in the UFC, but I don’t want to fight any other event, because UFC’s my house. It’s been my house for the last 15 years. So if I get another chance I would do one more fight there.”

Maia hasn’t competed since a unanimous decision loss to Belal Muhammad at UFC 263 last June. Prior to that, he was stopped by Gilbert Burns in a first-round TKO at UFC Fight Night 170 in March 2020, which was the UFC’s final event before the COVID-19 pandemic changed its event structure.

Back-to-back losses is not something Maia is eager to go out with. The Brazilian has racked up 22 victories during his UFC tenure, and the all-time record is 23. Maia said his intentions are known within the UFC brass. It just remains to be seen if he gets the opportunity to fulfill his goal.

If the UFC does oblige, Maia said he’ll be ready to take advantage.

“I still train MMA. I’m still doing some boxing and Thai-boxing with takedowns and this kind of thing, so I keep this sharp if I need to do one more fight,” Maia said. “But at the same time I’m focused a lot on sport jiu-jitsu again, because I want to compete more in this kind of rules.”

Maia will indeed compete more in grappling-based competitions. He’s currently scheduled to face former UFC and WEC champ Benson Henderson at Polaris 20 on June 25 in Wales.

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