Demian Maia asks to face Nate Diaz in final fight of his career
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
Demian Maia wants one more fight and he hopes the UFC will give it to him.
The 43-year-old former title challenger came up short in his bout against Belal Muhammad this past Saturday night at UFC 263, which was actually the final fight on his current contract with the promotion.
Afterwards, UFC president Dana White said that he believed that should be the last appearance for Maia before calling it a career but now the legendary grappler from Brazil is asking for another opportunity.
In fact, Maia even has an opponent in mind for his retirement fight.
“Last night I tried hard and unfortunately wasn’t able to put my best performance,” Maia wrote 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.
“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.”
Of course, Diaz also fought at UFC 263 where he fell by decision to Leon Edwards in a special five-round bout on the main card. Diaz has now dropped back-to-back fights to Edwards and Jorge Masvidal in his past two appearances inside the octagon.
Maia’s request came with the utmost respect being shown towards Diaz as he seeks to compete one last time before calling it a career but he’s still not sure the UFC will grant him this wish.
“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 [Brazilian jiu-jitsu] and whom I respect,” Maia said when addressing Diaz.
“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.”
Throughout his career with the UFC, Maia has rarely called out opponents and typically he’s done so in a very respectful way much like asking to face Diaz for his final fight.
Now it’s up to the UFC and Diaz on whether or not Maia will get the chance to return for one last fight before his retirement from mixed martial arts.