Rather than exit when things were running bad, Maia opted to continue on, entering the year with a “one fight at a time approach,” expecting that he would complete the remaining three fights on his contract and reassess things from there.
Saturday’s main event assignment opposite Ben Askren in Singapore was to be the final fight on this deal, but after getting back into the win column with a first-round submission finish of Lyman Good in February and halting Anthony Rocco Martin’s climb up the welterweight rankings in June, the longtime contender sat down with the UFC brass and ironed out a contract extension that will see him continue to compete in 2020, regardless of how things play out this weekend.
“It was the last fight, but before we signed this one, we renegotiated with the UFC for two more,” explained Maia. “So I have this one and two more, which will be next year.
“You never know what life will bring to you, but my goal is to fight this one and win, of course, then do a couple more fights before I retire from my competitive career,” added the standout grappler, who is one of six fighters to make 30 Octagon appearances (and counting) over the course of his career. “I have many other plans that I keep holding off on because I’m not able to give them full attention because I’m a professional athlete, so my main goal is to be ready to do my best in the fights.”