Demian Maia suggests Nate Diaz as a retirement fight
Demian Maia has been a fixture at the top of the UFC welterweight rankings for so long that we often take it for granted. However, while he fought for the title just four years ago, is ranked in the top 10, and continues to fight ranked opponents, he is 43 years of age and has fought professionally for 20 years.
After his unanimous decision loss to Belal Muhammad at UFC 263, UFC president Dana White said that this is likely Maia’s last bout with the UFC, as it was the last fight on his UFC contract. “He’s 44 years old. He’s a great guy. He’s had a great career. Yes, I would say that’s probably it,” said White.
However, Maia himself believes he has one more fight left in him. His desired opponent? Fellow UFC veteran Nate Diaz.
Addressing Diaz in an Instagram post, the gentlemanly Maia writes: “If I have one more, I don’t want to waste it with someone I don’t respect. So if you want it, and the UFC wants to do it, it will happen, and it will be my last dance.”
Diaz was a bit tentative when asked about fighting Maia, suggesting that they both represent Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and are thus on the “same side.” “I feel like I’m representing the same thing: jiu-jitsu background. I wouldn’t say I would like to fight Demian Maia. I think he’s great.”
Indeed, Maia and Diaz are both among the more prominent jiu-jitsu specialists in the UFC today and made names for themselves with their iconic submission victories. A bout between Maia and Diaz would be sure to garner much attention, as both men – at varying points in time – have been hailed as the best jiu jitsu practitioners in MMA.