43-year-old welterweight veteran Demian Maia fought out the last bout on his current UFC deal with a decision loss against Belal Muhammad at UFC 263 on Saturday night, but the BJJ ace is now calling for a retirement fight against none other than Nate Diaz.
“Last night I tried hard and unfortunately wasn’t able to put my best performance,” Maia stated on Instagram. “As frustrated as I am, I kept trying until the end and that’s in the past now. I’m already looking forward as I know time goes by fast, and I won’t be doing this much longer.
“@natediaz209 , 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.
“Now, 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.
“I have had a long career, fought pretty much everybody, and proudly represented Jiu Jitsu the best I could. If I have one more, I don’t want to waste it with someone who I don’t respect. So If you want it, and the UFC want to do it, it will happen, and it will be my last dance. Much respect. #keepingitreal #ufc”
Maia had indeed got props from Diaz at the post-fight presser, but while the Stockton native has indicated that he’d be interested in fighting again within the next 3-4 months, it didn’t sound like it was a match-up that he was looking for at this time.
“I’m not hunting or looking for those type of fights,” Diaz said of elite-level BJJ fighters like Maia. “I feel like I’m pretty much on the same side as those guys. 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.”
Meanwhile, Dana White also seemed to be settled on the idea that Maia’s time in the UFC has finally come to an end.
“I think that was his last fight (with the UFC),” White said at his UFC 263 post-fight Q&A. “It was the last fight on his deal. He’s 44 years old. He’s been so good at getting in there, securing the takedown, getting on top of people, and just strangling them or grabbing something or twisting it until you quit. He couldn’t get it done tonight. He’s 44 years old. He’s a great guy. He’s had a great career. Yes, I would say that’s probably it.”