As a general rule, if you’re going to beat jiu-jitsu master Demian Maia, it’s not going to be on the ground. Anderson Silva knew this, and made Maia look like a jackass when they fought all those years ago. Tyron Woodley knew this, and make Maia look like a chump when Maia challenged him for the belt recently.

Well, TUF winner Kamaru Usman is all about that wrestling, and one of the special powers wrestlers have, in addition to getting takedowns, is to avoid them. In the main event of UFC Fight Night 129, Usman was supposed to face Santiago Ponzinobbio, but instead got Maia as a late replacement. Can you guess how this one went?

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From the outset, Maia wanted one thing: to latch onto his young opponent, drag him to the canvas, and tie him in knots. And from the outset, Usman refused to even let the Brazilian latch onto him… to the point where it actually got frustrating and boring. Once, in the first round, Maia got a hold of Usman but couldn’t do anything with it, and when Usman refused to scramble (and possibly make a mistake for Maia to capitalize on), he just waited. And waited. And waited. And the referee eventually broke them up.

Maia literally had nothing on the feet, with Usman shaking off the single punch that landed hard, and even dropping Maia with a knuckle sandwich in the fourth.

We also got the version of Maia that had him lying on his back beckoning for Usman to join him – the worst, most embarrassing version of all.

Thankfully, five rounds was the max, and then it mercifully ended.


Results: Kamaru Usman def. Demian Maia via Unanimous Decision