Demian Maia dominated Ryan LaFlare for the better part of their five-round main event Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 62, scoring a decision and keeping his name on the edge of title contention.
Maia, who looked exhausted in the fifth round, had several submission attempts locked in tightly early and often. However, the Brazilian was never able to complete the move, settling for a decision win in his native home.
“It’s an honor to be fighting here,” Maia said. “I was out for three months and had a tough camp. I fought a tough guy, a tough fighter.
“The public and my fans are my motivation.”
Back in 2010, Maia (20-6) worked his way to the No. 1 contender spot in the middleweight division, but was bested by Anderson Silva for the title. He eventually moved down to 170 pounds in 2012 and has gone 4-2 since, losing only to Jake Shields and Rory MacDonald via decision.
For LaFlare, the loss was the first of his career, dropping him to 11-1.