The judges all scored it for Maia, 29-28, giving Maia his second straight victory after his embarrassing loss to Anderson Silva earlier this year.
Maia is a world-class Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner, and although he has said that he is working hard at improving his boxing, he clearly wanted to get the fight to the ground, and that's what he did after a couple of minutes of exchanging on the ground. At the two-minute mark Maia had full mount and was landing punches, and he continued to control the fight on the ground through the end of the round. It was a first round that Maia won, 10-9.
At the start of the second Grove looked like he wanted to land punches from the outside and then step backward, clearly not wanting to engage with Maia in any way that would allow Maia to secure a takedown. Grove did that well at first, hitting Maia hard about a minute into the second round, but it wasn't long before Maia got his takedown and got on top again. Grove was able to get back to his feet, but not for long, as Maia got him down again and showed off his superior wrestling, again winning the round 10-9 on my card.
At the start of the third Grove looked like he was having some success in the stand-up, landing strikes while Maia was mostly missing with his punches. The third round stayed entirely on the feet, and I gave the round to Grove, but it was still Maia's fight, 29-28, on my scorecard. All three judges agreed, and Maia's record improves to 14-2. Grove falls to 12-8.
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