Demian Maia got the the better of a former UFC champion on Saturday and then called for a match with two of the promotion’s most notorious stars.
The two-time UFC title challenger won a unanimous decision over Bellator fighter Benson Henderson in a grappling bout at Polaris 20 in Newport, Wales, on Saturday. Maia and Henderson’s contest took place over a single 20-minute round and Maia controlled the majority of the action to win on points.
“There is some great guys that I would fight, like Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz would be nice if they want because they have great jiu-jitsu,” Maia said. “It would be very cool and I’m sure people would like [it].”
This was Maia’s second competition appearance since his last UFC fight, which took place at UFC 263 in June 2021. He defeated fellow former UFC fighter Alex Oliveira via a triangle choke in a grappling bout this past April.
Maia could not find a finish against Henderson, but he dominated the action as Henderson spent long sections of the fight on the defensive with Maia on his back. Early on, Maia’s weapon of choice was his guard as he jumped up to pull Henderson into it just 30 seconds into the match, but he later capitalized on a standup by stuffing a Henderson takedown and taking his back.
From there, Maia cranked on Henderson’s face and at one point even attempted to submit him with a full-body stretch, but the resilient Henderson — who has only lost by submission twice in 40 MMA fights — did not appear close to tapping at any point. The former UFC lightweight champion even attempted a flying triangle in the closing seconds during a fun scramble.
See more highlights from Saturday’s Polaris 20 featured bout here:
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