As one of the best submission artists to ever compete in mixed martial arts (MMA), it seems as if welterweight Demian Maia has recently hit his stride, as the Brazilian has compiled three straight victories.
His most recent victory was a super impressive second-round submission win over the previously surging Neil Magny at August 1’s UFC 190 from Brazil, and after the win, it seemed as if Maia may have been in line for a big fight in the division.
Many were saying that Maia should be pitted against Icelandic grappler Gunnar Nelson, a fan favorite teammate of the one and only Conor McGregor. Nelson recently competed as well, scoring a thrilling submission win over Brandon Thatch at July 11’s UFC 189.
Fans were calling for the two submission artists to square off, and apparently the UFC had liked the idea as well, as the promotion was targeting the bout for UFC Fight Night 76 which is set for October 24, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland, a place where Nelson trains and has a huge following.
The bout seems to make sense for both fighters, but unfortunately Maia was forced to turn down the bout agreement. It was reported on last night’s edition of UFC tonight that the grappling ace had suffered a gruesome staph infection on his leg, and will be forced to miss some time.
Check out the nasty injury below courtesy of MMAFighting.com:
As for what’s next for “Gunni”, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson was another name who was thrown out as a potential opponent for Nelson. “Wonderboy” emphatically knocked out veteran Jake Ellenberger back in July at the The Ultimate Fighter Finale, but he too will be unable to fight in October due to various injuries.
One would have to assume that Nelson badly wants to be on that Dublin card, but who should he face?