Things didn’t go as planned for Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 170, as he was knocked out in the opening round by Gilbert Burns in the evening’s welterweight co-main event in Brasilia, Brazil, on Saturday.
Burns floored Maia with a left hook and then began a premature celebration when his veteran opponent hit the canvas. Once Burns realized referee Osiris Maia wasn’t stopping the bout, he followed Maia to the canvas and finished the fight with ground-and-pound. Maia was seen protesting the stoppage and believes he had recovered sufficiently to continue.
“Unfortunately, the referee stopped it. I thought I could go a little bit more, but it is what it is,” Maia said on Saturday’s post-fight show on ESPN+. “I feel I was OK. I felt I was OK. But you don’t know. The referee said that he thought I was out, and that’s OK – that’s the sport. I was feeling good. I was getting good in the jiu-jitsu positions, but he got me well with that hook.”
Prior to the finishing sequence, Maia landed a takedown and briefly took Burns’ back before his opponent was able to escape. It was Maia’s first KO/TKO defeat since August and snapped a three-fight winning streak for the 42-year-old Brazilian.
Maia has one fight left on his current UFC contract, and he anticipates fulfilling that deal before calling it a career.
“I’ll come back to training and do one more fight – then that’s it,” Maia said. “I want to do one more, then probably retire. Tonight I was feeling pretty good. I feel I was getting my good positions, but respect. He defended well. He’s a great jiu-jitsu fighter, but he got me with the hook, and that happens. That happens in this sport with the small gloves, and that’s it. The referee didn’t help too much, but no excuse. He did well and he deserves [the win].”
In a media scrum interview with MMAFighting.com, Maia identified two possible opponents for his farewell fight.
“There’s two guys — one is Diego Sanchez, because he’s been asking for this fight for a long time so I want to fight him in the last fight,” Maia said. “A good last fight because he’s a old legend, too.
“The other one is [Donald] Cerrone, also would be interesting because he has one win more [in the UFC] than I [do].”