Demian Maia's Wants Rory MacDonald or Ben Askren Next If He Signs with UFC

Duane FinleyContributor INovember 20, 2013

Oct 9, 2013; Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Demian Maia  during a press conference after UFC Fight Night 29 at Jose Correa Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Demian Maia is coming off the first loss of his welterweight run in the UFC, and he's already on the road back to competing.

The one-time middleweight title challenger saw his three-fight winning streak come to an end when former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields edged him out via split decision at UFC Fight Night 29 in October.

While the loss knocked the Brazilian submission ace out of the immediate title picture, he's hungry to get back into the mix and wants to face another fighter in the divisional upper tier in his next outing.

During Wednesday's UFC Tonight, Ariel Helwani reported Maia's manager would like to get either Rory MacDonald or Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren, who is currently a free agent.

If "Funky" signs with the UFC, Maia would love to welcome him to the Octagon. Yet if the Askren signing doesn't materialize, the 36-year-old grappling guru would like to face the talented young Canadian in MacDonald.

"Ares" is coming off a recent setback against Robbie Lawler this past weekend at UFC 167. The Tristar product came out on the losing end of a split decision, which was his first loss in the last six outings. Before running into the resurgent Lawler, the 24-year-old had collected five consecutive victories inside the Octagon and was building a solid case for a title shot.

With UFC president Dana White recently stating he has no interest in signing Askren, a potential matchup between Maia and MacDonald would seem the likelier of the two. Despite both Maia and MacDonald coming off recent losses, both fighters are still very much in the title hunt.