Demian Maia grappled his way to another win, outlasting Anthony Rocco Martin for a decision victory at UFC Minneapolis.
Demian Maia is one of the greatest grapplers in the UFC, if not the greatest. The ADCC world champion has 10 submissions in the Octagon, which ties him for third all-time with Royce Gracie. Maia is two years removed from a seven-fight win streak, that ended in a one-sided title fight loss to Tyron Woodley. After taking losses to top welterweights Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman, the Brazilian bounced back with a win over Lyman Good.
Anthony Rocco Martin signed with the UFC in 2014 at 8-0, but had a rough start, going 1-3. Martin followed up with three straight wins, but a loss to Olivier Aubin-Mercier sparked a move up to welterweight. The decision has paid off in spades, as Martin has won four straight fights heading into UFC Minneapolis.
Round one started on the feet as always. However, it wasn’t much longer until Maia had the fight to the ground. Getting the takedown and getting into the mount, Maia had Martin’s back to the fence. From there, he landed some small ground strikes. With time ticking away near the end of round one, Martin would get back to his feet. It was early, but Martin had survived the first test on the ground.
Round two opened with a nice head kick by Martin, followed by a stuffed takedown. Maia would then shoot again and Martin reversed to get on top, then quickly get back to the feet, however, Maia would soon get him down again. Maia would get into the mount, however, he wasn’t able to do much with it, and would get stood up by the referee near the end of the round. Rocco would then take the fight to the ground himself with seconds remaining, and try and secure a guillotine. However, Maia got out with seconds left.
Round three was a bit of a stalemate up until the end of the round. Near the end of the round, Rocco would stun Maia, and Rocco would attempt to tune up the pressure. As Martin was moving in for the kill, Maia shot for a takedown. While not successful, he successfully got Martin to the ground with him. Which is where the two would stay until the end of the fight.
Not the most technically pleasing fight to watch, but Demian Maia is once again on a winning streak at welterweight.
Demian Maia def. Anthony Rocco Martin by majority decision (29-28×2, 28-28)