LONDON, United Kingdom — Jennifer Maya defended her eighth-ranked flyweight title at UFC 286 against undefeated contender Casey O’Neill. Entering the match, Maya had an impressive win over Mela Moroz in what O’Neill probably knew was her toughest test yet.
Ahead of the tournament, O’Neal was tipped to be a future champion, especially if she could get past veteran Maya. The Brazilian has title hopes of his own, although he has very different plans. Maya unsuccessfully challenged for the women’s lightweight title back in 2020, becoming another casualty of former champion Valentina Shevchenko’s reign.
When the dust settled at UFC 286, the three judges agreed that Maya, 34, raised her hand, reigniting her title aspirations. “My goal is obviously to fight for the title again, so maybe fight one more time and fight for the title again,” Maia said after her win, speaking to the media, including Cageside Press.
Unfortunately for Maia, with the division now having a new champion in Alexa Grasso, she may have to wait a while for the title due to time constraints, and there are more worthy contenders above her .
Headlines aside, Jennifer Maya did have something to say about Kathy O’Neal possibly getting “oiled” before a fight.
“I really wanted to show you guys my ground game, but Casey was so greasy. Very greasy, very slippery, it really made me uncomfortable.”
Asked if it could be sweat, the former title challenger replied: “Look, I don’t want to call the shots like that. It could be skin moisturizer, but I definitely just want you to know it’s not just sweat .”
Maya sensed the opponent’s oiliness from the very beginning. “Once I locked my body to the cage, I had a really hard fight against the cage and I found it very difficult to grab her and hold her because she was so slippery. So I had to mostly go back to boxing.”
For Jennifer Maya, after this upset victory, it might make sense to have a fight with the top contenders to cement her place as the next challenger.
Watch Jennifer Maia’s full UFC 286 post-fight press conference above.