Demian Maia (26-9-0) fights Anthony Rocco Martin (16-4-0) in a Welterweight bout at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday night.
The 41 year-old Brazilian veteran Maia ended a three-fight losing streak (all by Unanimous Decision to Tyron Woodley in a title fight, former interim titleholder Colby Covington and current champion Kamaru Usman) by beating Lyman Good with a Rear Naked Choke within 2:38 of their fight in February at UFC Fortaleza in his homeland.
Despite his advancing years, Maia’s wrestling and grappling is amongst the best in the sport. Maia is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist and his strategy is to try and submit opponents.
The 29 year-old American Martin comes into this bout on a four-fight winning streak since moving up from lightweight to welterweight, with his last victory coming via Unanimous Decision against Sergio Moraes in March. Martin’s last loss came to Olivier Aubin-Mercier in 2017 and that was at his old weight class of lightweight.
Other than against high-level wrestlers such as Woodley, Covington and Usman, Maia rarely loses fights in which he’s able to earn the takedown. That doesn’t bode well for Martin, who isn’t at the same level in terms of grappling. Indeed, this would be the biggest win of Martin’s career if he could beat Maia here.
Demian Maia vs Anthony Rocco Martin Prediction
UFC predictions for this fight are really factored on whether Maia is still capable at this level and although his remaining time in the Octagon is clearly limited, the signs are that he is still capable of competing with the best in the business. On that basis the tip is for Demian Maia to claim another victory here.
Pick: Fight Result – Demian Maia to Win @ -175 with bet365