What a career it’s been for Demian Maia and UFC 263 might just be the end. At 43 years old, Maia might be gearing up to hang up the gloves. Maia made his UFC debut in just his seventh pro fight all the way back in 2007.
While he’s never won a world title, Maia has proven to be the model of consistency. When he lost to Gilbert Burns last March, that snapped a three-fight win streak. Had he won that fight with Burns, he might’ve gotten his third UFC title shot.
Standing across from Maia tonight was Belal Muhammad. Back in March, Muhammad had a golden opportunity. On short notice, the UFC gave him a main event slot against Leon Edwards. If Muhammad won that fight, he would’ve jumped right into the title picture.
However, an accidental eye poke in the second round by Edwards ended the fight in a No Contest. That NC snapped a four-fight winning streak. Muhammad was looking to get back on the winning track at UFC 263.
UFC 263 Recap
The UFC 263 welterweight contest kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Maia immediately took the center and looked for his left hand. Nice straight right hand lands for Muhammad and Maia tries to shoot in for a takedown.
Good left hand lands for Demian Maia. Straight right for Muhammad pops the head back of Maia. Maia gets deep on a takedown attempt, however, Muhammad defends well. Muhammad gets his back to the fence as he continues to defend the Maia takedown attempt.
Maia uses a trip to get Muhammad down and Muhammad lands awkwardly on his leg. However, Muhammad works his way right back to his feet. Muhammad is able to escape and they go back to striking. Sloppy takedown attempt from Maia is easily defended by Muhammad.
Left hand lands for Muhammad and Maia shoots in deep on another takedown. Muhammad defends well and lands a nice left when they go back to striking. Good right hand lands for Belal Muhammad. The round ends with Maia trying another takedown attempt. I lean Muhammad after one at UFC 263.
The first round could have gone to either man at UFC 263. Maia gets the striking started in round two with a left hand. Little activity here in the opening minute as both men were a little out of range to land anything significant.
Good lead left hand lands for Demian Maia and Muhammad tries to answer but whiffs. Muhammad looks tentative here in the second round. Maia tries for a takedown, but Muhammad shrugs him off with ease. Nice jab lands for Muhammad.
Right and left lands for Demian Maia. Muhammad pushes forward with forces a shot from Maia. Another stuffed takedown for Muhammad. Both men trade good left hands. Another left lands for Demian Maia.
Right hand lands for Belal Muhammad and Muhammad starting to string together some punches. Double jab lands for Muhammad. Maia’s shots are getting sloppier and sloppier here in the second. He tries in the final minute to get another takedown, but can’t get Muhammad down. After two, I have it 2-0 Muhammad at UFC 263.
It could be even, but I think Maia needs a finish here at UFC 263. Both touch gloves to start the action. Nice left straight lands for Demian Maia. Muhammad pushes forward, but Maia uses it to try and land a takedown.
However, Muhammad defends well and they go back to striking. Right hands for Muhammad seem to stagger Maia briefly. Another good right hand lands for Belal Muhammad. Head kick and jab lands for Muhammad.
Maia tries for another takedown, but Muhammad again just shrugs him off. Left hand over the top lands for Muhammad and he’s pulling away here in the third round. Solid right hand lands for Muhammad, but Maia does land a sneaky left.
Combination lands for Muhammad. Good lead uppercut lands for Muhammad, but Maia counters with a good left. Body shot lands for Muhammad and he throws another head kick. Maia again goes for the takedown, but nothing there.
Maia is wearing the damage a little in the third. He tries for another takedown, but again, Muhammad stays on his feet. The crowd is getting restless at UFC 263 as the boos fill the arena. The fight comes to a close and this should be a pretty clear decision win for Belal Muhammad.
Belal Muhammad def. Demian Maia by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)