Former two-time title challenger Demian Maia returns at UFC Minneapolis, as he faces welterweight contender Anthony Rocco Martin in June.
Former welterweight and middleweight title-challenger Demian Maia will look to collect back-to-back wins inside the Octagon when he faces American Top Team’s Anthony Rocco Martin in a welterweight contest at UFC Minneapolis. Combate was the first to report the news.
Maia, 41, will look to win back-to-back bouts for the first time in 25 months. Before defeating Lyman Good via rear-naked choke at UFC Fortaleza in May, Maia lost three-straight contests. However, those were to former champions Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington, and the most recent of those defeats came to the newly crowned welterweight king, Kamaru Usman. He took all three men to the scorecards in their bouts. Maia’s a 35-fight veteran of the sport, making his debut at UFC 77 back in October of 2007. Throughout his career, Maia has defeated Jorge Masvidal, Carlos Condit, Neil Magny, Gunnar Nelson, Jon Fitch, Chael Sonnen and many more. In 26 professional wins, 13 half have ended by way of submission.
Martin, 29, is currently on a tear in the welterweight division. Since moving up in 2017 after losing a narrow split decision to Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Martin has defeated Keita Nakamura, Ryan LaFlare, Jake Matthews and Sergio Moraes all within 11 months. The Lloyd Irvin product has won seven of his last eight contests, and will be taking a rightful step up in competition to face Maia. In 16 wins, Martin has scored nine submission victories, proving he is also dangerous in the grappling department.
UFC Minneapolis, the promotion’s third event on ESPN, is live from the Target Center on June 29 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the main event, former champions Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler face off again in a welterweight battle. Woodley defeated Lawler in their first match via first-round knockout at UFC 201 to win the welterweight championship.