Maia, 43, aims to tie a record on Saturday by picking up his 23 win in the octagon. The world-class grappler has flirted with retirement several times over the past year, and a first-round knockout loss against Gilbert Burns introduced a ceiling in the welterweight division. Prior to that, he had won three straight fights in bouts against Ben Askren, Anthony Rocco and Lyman Good.
In Muhammad, Maia takes on another top-tier welterweight with designs on breaking through the pack to earn a title shot. Several past opponents – Burns, Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman among them – have done the same. Muhammad aims to rebound after a short-notice opportunity to cut the line with a win over Leon Edwards went south with an eye poke that rendered him unable to continue. Prior to that, Muhammad had won five straight, though none of his opponents carried the name value that his 2021 schedule has brought.
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