FORTALEZA, Brazil — Demian Maia is interested in testing his grappling skills against Michael Chiesa.
Fresh off a standing rear-naked choke submission win over former Bellator welterweight champion Lyman Good at UFC Fortaleza on Saturday night, Maia spoke with the media at the UFC Fortaleza post-fight press conference and casually mentioned one name as a possible opponent.
”There’s an athlete that people have talked a lot that they would like to watch me fighting him, Michael Chiesa,” Maia said, “so let’s see what my manager Eduardo Alonso will talk to the UFC. Maybe we’re going back to Curitiba one more time. I fought there with Matt Brown, 45,000 people in May 2016.”
UFC 237 is expected to take place at a soccer stadium in Curitiba, Brazil, on May 11, the same venue where Maia tapped Brown. According to sources, though, that date would be too soon for Chiesa to return to the cage since he’s dealing with an undisclosed injury.
Both Maia and Chiesa hold submission victories over former UFC champion Carlos Condit, with Chiesa scoring an unusual kimura to tap “The Natural Born Killer” last December in Inglewood.
”After he won against (Carlos) Condit a lot of people (went) to my Twitter page and start to talk about him fighting me and I get interested to see,” Maia said.
Getting back on track after three straight losses in the UFC, decisions to welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and contenders Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman, Maia is not keen on continuing to fight after his contract is complete.
”A win like tonight’s is very important, but I see my career as a three-fight path and this was the first one,” said Maia, who has two bouts left in his current deal with the promotion. “If I win the next one, it’s another piece in the right way, and then winning the third one and continuing to evolve and feeling well, sure.
”As long as I’m feeling like that and having pleasure in going to the gym to train, I plan on fighting more, but we’ll see.”