Demian Maia is back, but not for an MMA fight.
BJJ Stars announced on Tuesday that the two-time UFC title challenger will make his return to the mats in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 30. Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans told MMA Fighting that the opponent is going to be UFC welterweight Alex Oliveira.
Maia vs. Oliveira will be contested in a 10-minute submission match under ADCC rules, MMA Fighting has learned.
Maia, a 44-year-old MMA veteran, parted ways with the UFC in 2021 after completing his contract with back-to-back defeats in fights against Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad. He hasn’t competed under jiu-jitsu or grappling rules since 2007, when he won the 88kg division of the ADCC in Trenton, NJ.
Over the course of a stellar MMA career, Maia submitted a long list of top fighters across two weight classes, tapping Chael Sonnen, Carlos Condit, Matt Brown, Ben Askren and Neil Magny. In jiu-jitsu and no-gi competition, Maia has defeated opponents such as “Jacare” Souza, Gabriel Gonzaga, Rafael Lovato Jr. and Yushin Okami.
Oliveira, who is 22-12-1-2 as a MMA fighter, lost his past four under the UFC banner since 2020, including submissions to Randy Brown and Shavkat Rakhmonov. In his most recent appearance, “Cowboy” was stopped by Kevin Holland.
Oliveira does have a number of submissions in his MMA resume, including chokes over Carlos Condit, Tim Means and K.J. Noons.
BJJ Stars 8 also features an eight-man middleweight grand prix with Leandro Lo, Isaque Bahiense, Mica Galvao, Leonardo Lara, Pedro Machado, Roberto Jimenez, Lucas Hulk and Mauricio Oliveira.