Demian Maia wants Diego Sanchez fight before he retires

Demian Maia says he is inching ever closer to closing the chapter of his MMA career following his majority decision win against Anthony Rocco Martin on Saturday.

Maia, who won ADCC gold in 2007, is one of the finest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specialists to ever compete in mixed martial arts and has challenged for both UFC middleweight and welterweight titles, falling short with unanimous decision losses to Anderson Silva and Tyron Woodley.

Aged 41, Maia is riding a two-fight win streak but knows he is a way off title contention after suffering consecutive decision losses to former interim champion Colby Covington and now-UFC titleholder Kamaru Usman.

That doesn’t seem to phase the wily Brazilian, who admitted he wants to retire by 2020 and has a certain name in mind for one of his retirement fights.

“I wish I can fight in Sao Paulo in November,” Maia said following his win over Martin. [H/T Sherdog]

“Hopefully against Diego Sanchez since he’s been challenging me. It would be a nice fight and maybe it would be my last one, I don’t know.

“Maybe if it’s not the next one, then a couple more, but for sure no more fights past 2020.”

Sanchez is currently booked to fight Michael Chiesa next weekend at UFC 239 and is enjoying an unexpected late career resurgence of his own.

Maia says he still feels healthy enough to fight as he did years ago, but has a number of projects he would like to pursue away from the sport.

However, Maia says Sanchez may not be his last opponent inside the Octagon as he still loves MMA, but would like to tick his fellow veteran off as a bucket list opponent before calling it a day in the near future.

“After that, maybe I do a couple more,” he added. “But for sure, this year or next year, I’ll stop and retire. I feel pretty well. That’s why I keep going, because I love what I do. If I start to feel my body, then I will stop.

“Because I feel so well, I keep going. But I have other projects that I want to do, and that’s the only thing that makes me think about stopping. It’s more about the other things I want to do.

“I love to help spread jiu-jitsu across the world,” he added. “With the UFC being the biggest platform for it, that is why I still do this. I never did this for the money; I do it because I love it.”