Another pairing has been added to the UFC’s upcoming stop in the Lone Star State after world-class BJJer Demian Maia took to his Twitter account on Friday and announced he’d agreed to fight former SRC middleweight champ Jorge Santiago at the October 8 event with the UFC backing up his statements shortly thereafter through their website. Assuming the bout takes place as planned at UFC 136 it will give the two talented Brazilians an opportunity to dull the bitter taste of a recent defeat, rekindle the faith of their fans, and return their focus towards earning an eventual title-shot in the Octagon.
Maia has gone 8-3 since signing with the UFC in 2007 and opened up his career in the company with five straight submissions including stoppages against Ed Herman, Jason MacDonald, Nate Quarry, and Chael Sonnen. However, the 33-year old grappler has split his last six fights and, though having shown clearly improved stand-up, hasn’t finished an opponent in more than two years. Maia was last seen in the ring a month ago at UFC 131 where he was outpointed by decorated wrestler Mark Munoz.
A more-rounded competitor, Santiago has avoided the judges’ scorecards in 21 of his 23 total wins with nine TKOs and twelve tap-outs on his record. However, it was the Imperial Athletics representative who was rendered unable to continue by Brian Stann in his return to the UFC after an extremely successful run after his initial run in the promotion. Prior to the defeat Santiago had won eleven of his previous twelve bouts with notable victories over Jeremy Horn, Trevor Prangley, and Kazuo Misaki.
Maia vs. Santiago marks the latest addition to the Houston lineup with officially announced match-ups including Dave Herman vs. Mike Russow and Matt Grice vs. Josh Grispi.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC