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Posted on January 25, 2012 by John Petit

Breaking Down UFC On Fox: Maia Vs Weidman
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It wasn’t even three weeks ago that Demian Maia was slated to fight Michael Bisping at the second UFC On Fox card in Chicago when Mark Munoz was injured forcing a re-shuffling of the card. Bisping was moved up to fight Chael Sonnen, and Chris Weidman stepped in on late notice to fight Maia. Weidman has stepped in before on late notice, namely when he entered the UFC on 2 weeks notice when he defeated Alessio Sakara. The two-time All-American Division I NCAA wrestler is stepping up again, but he is fighting a much tougher fighter.

Maia has some ground fighting credentials himself. Even when you leave out the 4 submission of the nights bonuses, he has placed first at top shelf submission fighting competitions like ADCC, The Pan-American championships, the BJJ world cup 3 times, and CBJJ World Championships twice. He has three losses in the UFC, to current champion Anderson Silva, to Mark Munoz (who was supposed to be fighting to be the number 1 contender) and former number 1 contender Nate Marquardt. Munoz was the only one to beat Maia using his wrestling, and Marquardt was the only one to ever finish him (which happened at 21 seconds into their fight.)

Weidman fought Sakara to a decision, and has since finished Jesse Bongfeldt and Tom Lawlor both by submission. Not many wrestlers have adapted their wrestling to submission fighting like Weidman has. Bongfeldt was cut from after their fight, and Lawlor only fought that one time in 2011. Lawlor is a seasoned veteran, but he was coming off of a long lay off and is not as accomplished as Maia is. It will be very interesting to see his Weidman’s game plan in this bout. Do you grapple with a guy as dangerous as Maia is on the floor, or do you use your wrestling to keep the fight standing and try to out strike him?

To Maia’s credit, his striking has really come around. He still has a long way to go, no argument there, but it really looked like he turned a corner with it in his last few fights. He did lose to Munos, but when standing he threw some solid combinations. He did the same thing in his fight against Santiago as well. One thing is for sure, Maia will have no problem being on his back and will even pull guard if he has to. I don’t see him having to do that. Weidman doesn’t have the time to develop a stand up game plan, and he will have to be slick if he wants to take down Maia and then jump out of his guard for points.

I think Maia takes this fight, and with the odds at +125 for Maia, I think bettors should jump all over that. I’m a little shocked that Maia is the underdog quite frankly, and he is my underdog pick for the entire card. I think Maia gets the sub late in the second round, or early in the third.


Middleweight bout:
Demian Maia vs.  Chris Weidman

Demian Maia
75% Fights Won
44% Striking Accuracy
32% Takedown Accuracy


Odds: +125
Reach: 72 in
Record: 15-3
UFC Record: 9-3
Last 5: 3-2
Streak: +1

Chris Weidman
100% Fights Won
43% Striking Accuracy
70% Takedown Accuracy


Reach: 78in
Record: 7-0
UFC Record: 3-0
Last 5: +5
Streak: +7

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