Demian Maia wants one more UFC fight against Nate Diaz

This past Saturday at UFC 263, Demian Maia (28-11) took on Belal Muhammad (19-3, 1 NC) on the main card. It was the final fight for Maia on his current contract and he was looking to call it a career with a victory.

In the first round, Maia looked decent. He was able to land some left hands and he was even able to secure a takedown. However, he wasn’t able to do much once the fight got there. Two of the three judges gave the first round to Maia at UFC 263.

However, starting in the second round, Maia couldn’t really do much the rest of the fight. His takedown attempts got sloppier and sloppier as he got tired. Muhammad was able to keep the fight standing where he was getting the better of the striking.

Maia would land some shots here and there, but ultimately, Muhammad was landing more. All three judges gave the final two rounds to Belal Muhammad and he was able to pick up the victory over Demian Maia at UFC 263.

As mentioned, this was the final fight on Maia’s contract. Dana White said after the event that this was likely Maia’s last fight. That said, Maia took to Instagram to say that he wants one more UFC fight and he wants to stand across from another legend who competed at UFC 263.

Would the UFC entertain Diaz – Maia?

Maia posted on Instagram after UFC 263, “Nate Diaz , I saw your quote on the press conference, and think you’re great too. You’re a great fighter who also represents Jiu Jitsu and you’re real, I respect that. Regardless of last night, I know I still have one fight left in me, and it’s no secret that I feel like UFC is my home, where I want to finish my career.”

Maia continued, “I have no idea if they will give me another fight, but if they do, I would be honored to do my last MMA bout with you, someone who always come to fight, who represents BJJ and whom I respect.”

Maia’s callout of Diaz after UFC 263 is completely based on respect as you can tell from the quotes. It would be a great way to send Maia off considering his tenure with the promotion and his status as one of the company men for the UFC over the last fourteen years.

That said, I can’t see anyway that this fight happens. There’s an outside chance that the promotion agrees to give Maia one more fight, however, I don’t see it being Diaz. I think the promotion has bigger plans for Diaz, but who knows, crazy things happen all the time in this sport.

Belal Muhammad defeats Demian Maia at UFC 263

Belal Muhammad, Demian Maia

On the main card of UFC 263, we saw a showdown between two top fifteen welterweights. 12th ranked Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC) returned to the octagon to take on the MMA legend Demian Maia (28-10).

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

Round 1

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.

Round 2

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.

Round 3

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)

UFC 263 Preview: Belal Muhammad – Demian Maia

Belal Muhammad, Demian Maia

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 263, we will see a showdown between two top fifteen welterweights. 12th ranked Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC) returns as he takes on the MMA legend Demian Maia (28-10).

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.

He’s been fighting with the promotion an astonishing 14 years and holds a UFC record of 22-10. During that stretch, Maia has challenged for both the UFC middleweight and welterweight championships.

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 another UFC title shot.

Standing across from Maia tomorrow night is 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 is looking to get back on the winning track tomorrow night at UFC 263.

UFC 263 Prediction

When examining this matchup at UFC 263, I can’t help but think it’s a tough one for Demian Maia. Maia is one of the best jiu jitsu practitioners the UFC has ever seen. However, we’ve seen him struggle to get fights to the ground especially against top level wrestlers.

Well, Belal Muhammad is a very good wrestler. On the feet, I think Muhammad is going to have a clear advantage. I’m expecting a ton of pressure from Muhammad and I think we are going to see even more improvement in his striking.

In his Dhiego Lima fight back in February, I was incredibly impressed with the boxing of Belal Muhammad. I don’t think Maia will get this to the mat, and I just see Muhammad winning the striking exchanges at UFC 263. Don’t think we see a finish, but I think we will see a clear win for “Remember the Name”.

Prediction: Belal Muhammad by Unanimous Decision

UFC booking Belal Muhammad – Demian Maia

The UFC is in the process of finalizing a welterweight matchup for their June PPV featuring two top fifteen welterweights. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report that the promotion was finalizing a matchup between Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC) and Demian Maia (28-10).

The matchup will take place on June 12th at UFC 263. For Belal Muhammad, this fight is going to be his chance to get back on track after the freak accident that happened in his last fight.

Muhammad had the opportunity of his career when he stepped in at UFC Vegas 21 to take on Leon Edwards. Edwards was the third ranked contender in the division. If Muhammad could have won, he would have vaulted into title contention.

However, in the second round, Muhammad was poked in the eye and couldn’t continue. The fight was ruled a No Contest. Immediately, Muhammad campaigned for a rematch, but the UFC booked Edwards against Nate Diaz. 

Prior to the No Contest, Muhammad had gone 8-2 in his previous ten fights. He wanted a top ten opponent and the UFC is rewarding him for his efforts and making it up to him after what happened a few weeks ago.

Last UFC fight for Maia?

Standing across from Muhammad is going to be Demian Maia. Maia is currently ranked eighth in the UFC’s welterweight rankings. This might be the final time that we see him compete in the octagon.

Maia last fought back in March of last year against Gilbert Burns. Had Maia won that fight, he could’ve been back in title contention. However, Burns knocked him out in the first round.

That loss snapped a three fight win streak for Maia. Maia has had an incredible career in the UFC, but he turns 44 this year and he’s said to have been seriously contemplating retirement.

The Brazilian legend has never become a UFC champion, but he’s challenged for the title at both 185 pounds and 170 pounds. Since mid-2014, Maia is 10-4 in the welterweight division. The four losses came against Burns, Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, and Tyron Woodley.

In his welterweight run, Maia holds wins over Jorge Masvidal, Carlos Condit, Neil Magny, and more. This matchup at UFC 263 is a huge opportunity for Muhammad to rise up the ranks, but it’s also an opportunity for Maia to go out on top.

What’s next for Leon Edwards after UFC Vegas 21?

Leon Edwards

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 21, Leon Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) finally got his chance to return to the octagon. Edwards was riding an eight-fight win streak, but hadn’t been able to compete since July of 2019.

Originally, Edwards was supposed to take on Khamzat Chimaev. However, after Chimaev pulled out due to COVID complications, Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC) stepped in. Muhammad had just fought and won at UFC 258 about a month ago.

This was a golden chance for Muhammad to prove that he belonged with the elites of the division. Meanwhile, Leon Edwards was out to show that he was still one of the best in the UFC despite the lengthy layoff.

Early on in the fight, Leon Edwards looked fantastic. His striking was incredibly crisp and he looked very sharp. His pressure was also bothering Belal Muhammad who is normally the one that pushes the pace in his fights.

In the second round, Edwards went to throw a kick and accidentally poked Muhammad in the eye. It was a horrible poke that caused the UFC Vegas 21 main event to be ruled a No Contest. So after that long layoff, Edwards’ return ends with a No Contest.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 21?

Despite Belal Muhammad wanting the rematch, I don’t believe that’s what the UFC will do. This matchup was one of circumstance due to Edwards needing an opponent with just about three weeks time.

Now that the fight is done, I believe the promotion will pair Edwards up with someone near the top. To me, there is one opponent that is perfect for Leon Edwards. That opponent is former UFC interim champion, Colby Covington (16-2).

Covington needs an opponent right now and it doesn’t appear that he’s getting the next UFC title shot. Edwards isn’t getting that shot either so why not pair them up. These guys are number one and three in the world and it makes all the sense that they fight each other next.

After UFC Vegas 21 No Contest, where does Belal Muhammad go from here?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 21, Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC) finally got the shot he’s been asking for. Muhammad has felt disrespected by many in that he’s never in the conversation regarding future welterweight champions.

He’s been wanting a shot against some of the UFC‘s elite guys to prove that he belongs in that conversation. Well, after Khamzat Chimaev fell out a couple of weeks ago, top three ranked contender, Leon Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) needed a new opponent.

Immediately, Muhammad threw his name in for the UFC Vegas 21 headlining spot. This was his chance to prove that he belongs with the elites of the division. On Saturday night, he wanted to show the world that he could be a future champion in the welterweight division.

The first round started out pretty rough for Muhammad. Normally, he’s the guy who is pushing the action, however, it was Leon Edwards that had him backing up. Edwards landed a headkick that wobbled Muhammad badly in the first round.

Muhammad survived, but it was a rough round as he was outstruck by Edwards pretty clearly. In the second round, Muhammad was going to look to build some of his own momentum, however, the fight came to an abrupt halt.

Leon Edwards went for a body kick, but to give himself space, he had his hand out straight. One of his fingers went deep into the eye of Muhammad for an accidental eye poke. It was a bad one and it caused the UFC Vegas 21 main event to end in a no contest.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 21?

It’s clear that after UFC Vegas 21 that Belal Muhammad wants another crack at Leon Edwards. Their fight ended with no one getting their hand raised and it feels like there is unfinished business between the two men.

However, I don’t believe the promotion will head in this direction. Muhammad got this spot by circumstance and unfortunately for him, I don’t see the UFC rebooking this fight now. So with that, what’s next for Belal Muhammad.

I firmly believe that Muhammad should get a top ten opponent after this unfortunate turn of events. I think we should look at UFC 260 to find Muhammad’s next opponent. On the main card, Tyron Woodley and Vicente Luque are scheduled to fight.

I believe that a great fight for Muhammad would be the winner. Either he will get a rematch with Luque or he will get a shot at a former UFC champion. Both of these would be a great next fight for Belal Muhammad.

UFC Vegas 21 main event ends in a No Contest

Leon Edwards

In the main event of UFC Vegas 21 we saw a big time matchup in the welterweight division. One of the best welterweights in the world, Leon Edwards (18-3), was making his long anticipated return against the surging Belal Muhammad (18-3).

2020 didn’t go according to plan for Leon Edwards. Entering the year, Edwards appeared close to a UFC title shot having won eight fights in a row. He was scheduled to headline a fight night in March against former champion Tyron Woodley. However, the fight was scrapped due to the pandemic.

Edwards ended up not competing at all in 2020 after entering the year with such promise. He was looking to turn that bad fortune around tonight in his return. However, he wasn’t going to have an easy return taking on Belal Muhammad.

Just over a month ago at UFC 258, Belal Muhammad defeated Dhiego Lima. Muhammad made it clear that he felt he needed to be more respected in the division and he wanted some top ranked guys in his next fight.

After Khamzat Chimaev fell out of this main event slot against Leon Edwards, Muhammad jumped right in. Tonight, at UFC Vegas 21, Belal Muhammad had a golden chance to put his name directly in the title picture.

UFC Vegas 21 Recap

Round 1

There was no touch of the gloves to kick off the UFC Vegas 21 main event. Leon Edwards came forward immediately with pressure. Edwards opened the striking with a nice body kick. Muhammed tried throwing some hooks early, but was a bit out of range.

Edwards cracked Muhammad with a big 1-2 before he forced a clinch. Muhammad was able to reverse the position and landed a good elbow on the break. Edwards hurts Muhammad bad with a huge headkick.

Muhammad was wobbling around, but Edwards couldn’t put him away after Muhammad forced a clinch. The speed and length was really bothering Muhammad here in the first round.

A big body kick lands for Muhammad. Edwards answers with a big body kick of his own. Another nice 1-2 lands for Edwards and he follows it with another big straight left. The round comes to a close and it’s 1-0 Edwards at UFC Vegas 21.

Round 2

Normally Belal Muhammad is the one pressuring but early at UFC Vegas 21, Edwards was the one forcing the issue. Both men exchange jabs to start the striking in the second. Edwards goes for a body kick but accidentally pokes Belal Muhammad in the eye.

It’s a bad eye poke and this fight appears over. Referee Herb Dean waves the fight over after Muhammad cannot continue. The UFC Vegas 21 main event is going to end in a no contest.

Leon Edwards and Leon Edwards fight to a No Contest – Eye Poke (Round 2)

UFC Vegas 21 Preview: Leon Edwards – Belal Muhammad

Leon Edwards

Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC Vegas 21, we will see a highly anticipated welterweight matchup. The third ranked contender in the world, Leon Edwards (18-3), is finally makes his return to the UFC to take on the surging Belal Muhammad (18-3).

There is no questioning that Leon Edwards is one of the best welterweights in the UFC. Edwards has tremendous striking and a very good overall game. Not too mention the fact that he’s currently won eight fights in a row.

However, we haven’t seen Edwards compete since July of 2019. Edwards was scheduled to face Tyron Woodley last March, but the pandemic cancelled the fight. After the UK locked everything down, Edwards was unable to train which didn’t allow him to take another fight.

Finally, the UFC booked him against Khamzat Chimaev in December. However, that fight fell through three times due to COVID-19. Now, all the hurdles have been cleared and Edwards will finally get his chance to compete again.

Standing in his way is Belal Muhammad. While Edwards wasn’t able to compete in 2020, Muhammad continued his own winning streak last year. Muhammad has now won four in a row and he’s 8-1 in his last nine inside the octagon.

Belal Muhammad just fought at UFC 258, but when Khamzat Chimaev fell out, he jumped at this golden opportunity. If Muhammad is able to beat Edwards tomorrow night, he will shoot right to the top of the UFC‘s welterweight rankings.

UFC Vegas 21 Prediction

When it comes to the main event tomorrow night, it’ll all come down to how Leon Edwards looks in my opinion. As mentioned, Edwards is one of the best welterweights in the UFC. His striking is on a completely different level than Belal Muhammad’s.

His wrestling and grappling also looked much improved the last couple of times we saw him. Now, he’s had almost two years to prepare for wrestlers so we can imagine that his wrestling defense is pretty good which he will need tomorrow night.

Belal Muhammad needs to come forward with immediate pressure tomorrow. He needs to try and land takedowns, but ultimately he needs to make this a dirty fight. If this fight is at range, it won’t go well for him. He can certainly land, but he doesn’t want to be in a kickboxing match with Leon Edwards.

I believe Belal Muhammad is a very underrated welterweight, but I just don’t think he’s better than Leon Edwards. I believe Edwards will be able to avoid the takedowns, land good elbows in close range, and outstrike Muhammad to get the win at UFC Vegas 21.

BREAKING: UFC books Leon Edwards – Belal Muhammad

Leon Edwards

The UFC has finally found an opponent for Leon Edwards (18-3). After Khamzat Chimaev had to pull out of their fight again last week, the promotion has been in a scramble to find a replacement for Chimaev.

Dana White said that the UFC was interested in having Colby Covington (16-2) face Edwards. However, Covington has said that he wasn’t interested in fighting Edwards. The promotion then switched gears to other potential matchups in the welterweight division.

Edwards has been anxious and just wants to get back inside the octagon. Well, the UFC has found a willing opponent and Edwards has accepted. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report that Belal Muhammad (18-3) will be stepping up to take on Leon Edwards.

Muhammad just competed last weekend at UFC 258. but it was a clean win and he took no damage. Muhammad is not wanting to waste any time and he jumped at the opportunity to take on Leon Edwards next month.

The fight will still take place on the original date that Edwards was booked which is March 13th. The fight will also remain a five round main event which is what Edwards was planning on all along.

Big implications in the UFC’s welterweight division

Since 2017, Muhammad is 8-1 in the UFC. His lone loss came against Geoff Neal and that was at the beginning of 2019. Since that loss, Muhammad has gone 4-0 and he’s looked incredibly impressive in those fights.

Muhammad’s striking looked sensational last weekend, but it was his pressure and pace that really stood out. You can be sure that he’s not going to make things easy on Leon Edwards when the two fight next month.

This will be the first fight for Leon Edwards since July of 2019. Edwards has been going crazy trying to get back into action, however, the UFC has struggled in getting him a fight that wouldn’t fall through. Hopefully this one stays together and Edwards gets to make the walk next month.

It will be very interesting to watch how Edwards looks in this first fight back. Will ring rust play a factor here or will he come out looking better than ever? This is a dangerous fight against a guy with a lot of momentum. Should he win, a UFC title shot could be next for Leon Edwards.

UFC Matchmaker: Li Jingliang – Belal Muhammad

This past weekend at UFC 258, Belal Muhammad (18-3) took on Dhiego Lima (15-8). Both men entered the contest on winning streaks, but Muhammad was the only fighter who made the walk with a ranking by his name.

Entering UFC 258, Muhammad was ranked 13th in the welterweight division. Going into this matchup, I figured Muhammad’s wrestling would just overwhelm Lima. However, that wasn’t the case.

Lima was incredibly impressive with his takedown defense and kept the fight standing for the majority of the fight. That said, Muhammad still completely controlled the fight on Saturday night.

Muhammad put a pace on Lima that just weathered the former Ultimate Fighter runner-up. Lima landed some good shots, but the fight was all Belal Muhammad. I came away incredibly impressed by the continued improvement of Belal Muhammad’s striking.

After the fight was over, Muhammad didn’t call out one of the elites of the division. Instead, he called out a fighter that makes perfect sense when you look at the UFC rankings. Muhammad called out The Leech, Li Jingliang (18-6).

Will the UFC make this matchup?

Last month, Jingliang took on the returning Santiago Ponzinibbio. Ponzinibbio at one point looked like he was going to be the next big threat in the UFC’s welterweight division. However, injuries and time away have slowed his progress.

While he was the big betting favorite, Ponzinibbio couldn’t deliver. Jingliang ended up knocking him out with a flush left hand and that win found Jingliang ranked 12th in the UFC’s welterweight rankings. One spot ahead of Belal Muhammad.

Muhammad made the callout on Saturday night because he said it’s the fight that makes sense. Despite the winning streak and being ranked, Muhammad hasn’t received a ranked opponent over his last few fights. That’s something that the UFC will aim to change in his next time out.

I believe that the proposed matchup between Muhammad and Jingliang makes all the sense in the world. Whoever would be victorious in that matchup would be primed for a matchup against someone in the UFC’s top ten.