It appears that two long-time UFC veterans are officially no longer with the promotion. John Morgan of MMA Junkie confirmed today with promotional officials that Demian Maia (28-11) and Jimmie Rivera (23-5) are no longer with the promotion.
Per Morgan, both guys fought out their UFC contracts and the promotion is not bringing them back. For Jimmie Rivera, this is a little bit of a puzzling development. Rivera was ranked 13th in the UFC‘s bantamweight division.
His last fight with the promotion came back in February when he took on Pedro Munhoz. The fight was a rematch from a few years ago when Rivera got the better of Munhoz. This time around, Munhoz was able to pick up the victory.
That loss dropped Rivera to just 2-4 in his last six UFC appearances. Back in 2017, Rivera looked like a guy who could become a future champion. Overall, he was 22-1 and he had been perfect with the promotion.
However, that’s when he ran into Marlon Moraes he knocked him out in just over 30 seconds. From there, he would go 2-3 in his next five fights. Granted, his losses were to Aljamain Sterling, Petr Yan, and Munhoz.
So, two of his losses were to the last two guys to hold the UFC bantamweight title. Letting Rivera go was likely a decision based on pay and deciding whether or not he could become a champion. Obviously, the promotion didn’t see Rivera climbing the latter so they let him go.
Maia’s UFC Run Officially Over
Demian Maia made his debut with the promotion all the way back in 2007 at UFC 77. Maia scored a win and began his career at 5-0 with the promotion which included a submission win over Chael Sonnen.
During Maia’s run with the UFC, the jiu jitsu legend made his way to a title shot twice in two different weight classes. Maia fought Anderson Silva for the middleweight title and fought Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title.
While Maia came up short in both attempts, he’s been the model of consistency in the UFC for a long time. It was known that his fight with Belal Muhammad at UFC 263 was the final fight on his contract.
Maia lost the fight which was his second straight loss. After the event, Maia was hopeful the UFC would give him one more fight, however, it doesn’t appear that it’s going to happen. No telling what’s next for Maia, but if it’s the end, we should all solute the Brazilian legend.