VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Demian Maia backed up his calls for a welterweight title shot with an early submission victory over Carlos Condit in the main event of UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena on Saturday night.
Ranked third in the division, Maia said this week that with a victory over Condit, he should be in line for a fight for the title now held by Tyron Woodley. And, at 38 years of age, Maia may get his wish later in the year after forcing Condit to tap out at 3:08 of the opening round.
Maia made quick work of the fight, which was scheduled for five rounds. He broke down in tears in the middle of the octagon when it was over. Now he will await word on when a potential title fight could take place.
Maia said during a post-fight interview that if the UFC gives Stephen Thompson, the No. 2-ranked fighter in the welterweight division, the next title shot, he wants his opportunity right after that.
"I'm very grateful for everything I've accomplished in my life and very grateful for my family," said Maia, who has won six straight fights. "My life is complete already. The title shot, that will be something else, something amazing if it happens."
Tom Wright, executive vice president and general manager for UFC Canada, Australia and New Zealand, called Maia's performance "dominant" but said a decision on a possible title fight for Maia has not been made.
Saturday's fight may have been the last for Condit. There has been speculation about Condit's future in the UFC, and he strongly suggested following his loss to Maia that his days as a fighter could be over. He stopped just short of confirming his retirement, saying he hopes the loss won't be his "swan song."
He said he'll talk to his management team and his wife and make a decision after that. But he said possible retirement has been "in the back of my mind for a while."
"I don't know if I have business fighting at this level anymore. I've been at this for a really long time," Condit said. "It's been awesome. I've got to do what I love for a living for a very long time, but I don't know if I belong here."
Anthony Pettis submitted Charles Oliveira in the third round in their featherweight bout.
Pettis, who flirted with a knockout win in the first round, was able to roll Oliveira into a guillotine choke, forcing his opponent to end the fight at 3:11 of the third round.
After taking time away from the Octagon to appear on Dancing with the Stars, Paige VanZant returned to UFC with a second-round knockout over Australia's Bec Rawlings.
VanZant, who last fought on Dec. 10, 2015, when she lost by submission in the fifth round, was able to land a kick to the head of Rawlings, driving her opponent to the ground. VanZant continued with a series of punches before the fight was stopped.
Jim Miller opened the main card with a split-decision victory over Joe Lauzon in a rematch between the two lightweight combatants following their bloody, gruesome fight from UFC 155 four years ago.