UFC Fight Night 129 Play-By-Play: Usman Cruises Past Maia

Round One:

Both men circle each other in the main event for the evening, and both are exchanging pot shots from a distance. Maia goes for a takedown and works hard to get it, but Usman denies it. In a scramble, Maia somehow works his way to Usman’s back and sinks a hook in as the two welterweights stand by the cage.

Usman seems to be riding the round out but the referee breaks them up after the position becomes a stalemate. Usman stays busy and loose on the feet  as the round closes.

Usman takes the first.

Round 2:

Usman is swinging heavy leather and walking Maia down, and Usman denies another takedown attempt by Maia. Another stuffed shot for Maia who’s wasting energy trying to get Usman down. Usman has complete control over the fight now towards the end of round two.

Maia relentlessly pursues another single leg, but Usman’s balance is unreal. The two clinch with 30 seconds to go and Maia pulls guard against the cage.

The round ends with Usman on top dropping elbows.

Usman definitely takes the second.

Round 3:

Usman chasing Maia down on the feet, trying to land that big shot. Maia is doing a fairly good job of avoiding too much damage, but his lack of success in the takedown game must be discouraging for the submission specialist.

Maia works his standup game, circling away from Usman as “The Nigerian Nightmare” loads up on power punches.

Usman is chasing Maia at times, trying to get him to engage. Usman gets sloppy running Maia down. Usman’s looking for a big shot but it’s not there, and the round is nearly over.

Usman is dominating this fight at this point.

Round 4:

Maia seems like he has no backup plan since he can’t get Usman to the ground. The Brazilian’s takedowns have all been categorically denied by Usman, who’s demonstrating complete control of this fight against supposedly his toughest opponent to date.

Usman continues to stalk Maia on the feet, looking for the knockout shot. That fight-ending punch doesn’t come, and the round ends.

Usman clearly up four rounds to none.

Round 5:

Usman continuing to stuff takedowns and work his kickboxing game. Maia is pulling guard and literally begging Usman to jump into his guard.

Usman isn’t biting, however, and the referee forces Maia back to his feet. Maia once again pulls guard and begs Usman to play his game, but again Usman smartly declines.

Usman dominates all five rounds en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Check out the action below:


Winning Speech:

The TUF 21 winner, Usman (13-1), won his 12th straight fight and improved to 8-0 in the UFC.

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