For almost a decade Fitch was a measuring stick at 170 pounds. His record in the division was only second to Georges St-Pierre’s, beating almost nearly every up-and-coming contender the UFC had to offer. His last clash in the Octagon before being unceremoniously released came against Maia on the heels of a Fight of the Night win over Erick Silva. However, from the resulting rumble, fans might have thought Fitch had been replaced by a clone as he had no answer for Maia’s grappling. The ensuing outpointing wasn’t quite as impressive as the one GSP scored over Fitch but it was a fine performance showing Maia was a legitimate force at welterweight and should be for the next few years.
There are a significant number of MMA fans who feel UFC welterweight Demian Maia (18-4) could secure a shot at the title currently around Georges St-Pierre’s waist if he’s able to get by Jake Shields (28-6-1) next week. The two talented grapplers are set to headline UFC Fight Night 29, giving the Brazilian crowd a bout sure to feature some slick exchanges on the ground given both competitors’ familiarity with BJJ. Though no outcome is guaranteed in the Octagon, Maia has been in some major match-ups before and risen to the occasion more often than not. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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