According to MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz, the fight against Belal Muhammad at UFC 263 is the last one on Brazilian jiu-jitsu wizard Demian Maia's current contract with the promotion. It is currently unknown whether Maia will renew his contract or part ways with the promotion following his next fight.
For all you know, Demian Maia could hang up his gloves following his fight against Muhammad at UFC 263. After his most recent defeat last year, Maia said he would compete one last time before walking into the sunset. However, is it time for him to go yet?
While he clearly isn't a title contender at the moment, Demian Maia was on a decent run of form until he ran into fellow countryman Gilbert Burns.
Burns and Maia squared off at UFC Fight Night: Lee vs. Oliveira back in March last year. What was expected to be a grappling battle turned out very differently as Burns smoked Maia in the very first round, picking up a TKO victory. Before the fight, Maia was on a decent run of form with three wins in a row.
Before that, however, Maia had lost three fights in a row, but to the likes of Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman, and Tyron Woodley. Woodley was the UFC welterweight champion when he fought Maia, Usman still holds the title and Covington is a former interim champion. All three of those fights went to the judges' scorecards.
Is Demian Maia a spent force?
It is clear that Demian Maia hasn't really hit rock bottom yet and has plenty more to offer as a fighter. While he suffered a devastating loss last time around, he has the chance to bounce back by stopping a highly rated prospect like Belal Muhammad.
The job, however, is going to be tough. Muhammad has won four out of his last five fights in the UFC and is well on his way to breaking into the top 10 of the 170lbs division. His last fight was a no-contest against Leon Edwards at the UFC Fight Night event on March 13, 2021.