Maia (23-6) extended his winning streak to six by submitting Condit via rear-naked choke just 1:52 into Round 1. The welterweight fight headlined UFC Fight Night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
The 38-year-old Maia is in the midst of an incredible run. According to Fightmetric, he has absorbed just 13 total strikes in his last four fights combined. None were more impressive than Saturday, as it came against a two-time title challenger and former interim titlist in Condit.
“This guy has been knocking out everybody,” Maia said. “This is the guy, I watched his [championship] fight against Robbie Lawler [in January]. For me, he was the champion. To come here and put in my work, with all the respect I have for him — I knew it would be hard fight. I’m just so happy and I think I’ve earned a title shot now.”
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Maia has 12 submission wins in his career, including seven via rear-naked choke. A former middleweight title contender, he is 8-2 since dropping to the welterweight division.
Condit (30-10), who fights out of Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, came out in a low stance in an effort to defend the takedown, but it did not make a difference. Maia took Condit down on his first attempt and moved almost immediately to his back. He put Condit in a tight body triangle and calmly worked the left arm under the chin. Condit appeared close to going out before ultimately tapping.
The 32-year-old Condit has spoken openly about the possibility of retirement in 2016. He suffered a razor-thin loss by split decision to Lawler for the UFC championship in January.
Current champion Tyron Woodley has been campaigning for a fight against former champion Georges St-Pierre, although UFC president Dana White has said the next shot will go to Stephen Thompson. Maia said he would be willing to wait for the winner of that fight.
Pettis submits Oliveira
Oliveira aggressively looked for takedowns throughout the 145-pound bout, and that ultimately worked against him in the finishing sequence. Pettis anticipated the Brazilian moving into his hips and locked in a tight guillotine that quickly produced a tap. It is only the second submission loss of Oliveira’s eight-year professional career.
In the opening round, Pettis hurt Oliveira with two of his signature left kicks to the body. Wanting little to do with Pettis on the feet, Oliveira looked to set a high amount of pressure and was very willing to fall to his back and invite Pettis into his guard after failed takedowns. Despite being hurt on the feet at times, Oliveira did take Pettis’ back several times in the first two rounds.
Fighting out of Milwaukee, Pettis snaps a three-fight skid that began with a unanimous decision loss to Rafael dos Anjos in a lightweight championship fight in March 2015.
VanZant records highlight-reel knockout
VanZant, 22, sat out the first half of 2016 to appear on “Dancing With the Stars,” but looked comfortable in her return fight. She circled away from Rawlings for much of the opening round and took the worst of early exchanges, but was never hurt. VanZant’s outside movement forced Rawlings to pursue and VanZant caught her by surprise early in the second round with the kick.
“Apparently, I needed a little of that dance movement,” said VanZant, who has been known more for her grappling skills than knockout power.
Fighting out of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, VanZant suffered the first loss of her UFC career in late 2015, which snapped a four-fight win streak.
Miller takes split decision from Lauzon
Miller, out of Sparta, New Jersey, set the tone early with punches and kicks to the body. He rocked Lauzon with a left uppercut early in the third round, but did have trouble defending takedowns throughout the contest. Lauzon actually finished the fight working on an armbar but ran out of time.
The win has Miller riding his first win streak since 2014. It also moves him into a tie with Gleison Tibau for most wins in UFC lightweight history at 16.