Ginásio do Ibirapuera in Las São Paulo, Brazil played host to UFC Fight Night 119: Brunson vs. Machida on Saturday. That saw São Paulo’s Demian Maia step into the octagon to face American Top Team fighter Colby Covington in the co-main event of the evening.
São Paulo’s Demian Maia entered the cage once again after coming up short at UFC 214 in July, where he challenged Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley for his 170lb title. Maia was on a seven fight win streak prior to meeting Woodley, and was looking to get back on track with a win over Covington.
Former NCAA Division 1 wrestler and All-American Colby Covington, meanwhile, has been on a roll as of late. Picking up four wins over his last five fights, Covington had just a single blemish on his UFC record to date prior to UFC Sao Paulo. He’d be looking to vault up the welterweight ranks with a win over Maia.
Who would’ve thought that this one would be a mostly stand up affair?
The first round saw Maia come out working his punches and landing multiple strong lefts, even cutting Covington early. Maia, a striker? Covington responded by chopping Maia’s lead leg. Covington was extending on some of his punches, but Maia rarely made him pay for it.
The take down attempts came later with Maia shooting late in the first round — an attempt that was stuffed by Covington. The story remained the same for much of the fight with both fighters showing damage and fatigue. Maia eventually fell back on his grappling and went for more take downs — which continued to be stuffed by Covington. This continued until the bell to signal the end of the third round; just prior to the end of the fight, Maia was again shooting and getting stuffed. Covington stayed on him thoughout and pushed for the finish, dropping shots from the top to end the round.
In the end, it was Covington who was awarded the win, much to the displeasure of the local crowd.
Colby Covington def. Demian Maia by unanimous decision (29-27 30-27 29-26)