Demian Maia kept his spot in the welterweight top 10 with a weekend win, if only barely.
Maia, who returned from a 10-month layoff at UFC Fight Night on March 21, trounced the previously unbeaten Ryan LaFlare with a suffocating ground game through the first four frames of their meeting in Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt was exhausted by round five -- Maia was issued a rare point deduction for his repeated attempts to pull guard -- but his dominance in the prior 20 minutes earned him a win on the judges’ scorecards. Maia remains at No. 10 in the 170-pound rankings, now having snapped the first losing skid of his career with back-to-back decision wins over LaFlare and Alexander Yakovlev.
The show’s undercard saw Amanda Nunes maintain her place on the list of women’s bantamweight contenders by making short work of veteran Shayna Baszler. Nunes dealt the “Queen of Spades” a first-round TKO by blowing out Baszler’s left leg with a low kick and finishing with perfunctory ground-and-pound. The Brazilian “Lioness” now holds a 3-1 record inside the Octagon, with all three wins by way of first-round stoppage.
Continue Reading » Heavyweight