In an already stacked Welterweight division, the talent pool will soon have another top contender eyeing a run at the title. After a 9-4 run in the Middleweight division, with one of those loses coming in a title bout, BJJ Black Belt Demian Maia (15-4) will be trying his luck at Welterweight. Welcoming Maia to the division will be the dangerous Dong-Hyun “Stun Gun” Kim (15-1-1, 1NC) at next weekends UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II.
Upon stepping onto the UFC scene, Demian Maia strung together a five-fight winning streak and picked up Submission of the Night bonuses in four of those bouts. His first career loss came at the hands of Nate Marquardt early in the first round when Maia jumped in and Marquardt landed a clean punch that immediately turned the lights off. After a win over Dan Miller in his next fight, Demian Maia was called upon to replace an injured Vitor Belfort in a Middleweight Championship bout against Anderson Silva. In the UFC’s first ever trip to Abu Dhabi, Demian Maia and Anderson Silva were part of one the most disappointing and bizarre title fights in UFC history.
After finishing his first five opponents via submission, Demian Maia hasn’t finished a fight since his loss to Marquardt. He will definitely have his work cut out for him when he steps in the cage with the “Stun Gun”. If he hopes to get a shot at the Welterweight title, he’s going to have to come out strong, put his last loss behind him and hit the ground running.
UFC 148 takes place Saturday July 7th from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and coincides with the return of the UFC Fan Expo to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The card will be headlined by UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva defending his title against Chael Sonnen in a rematch of their UFC 117 meeting. Having fought both of those fighters in the UFC, Demian Maia is well acquainted with the night’s main event.