The talent rich UFC welterweight division has produced many formidable title contenders. 170-pound champion Georges St. Pierre has long dominated the weight class despite the growing list of worthy challengers.
Tonight’s match-up between Jon Fitch and Demian Maia could have produced a future contender.
Fitch rebounded from a shocking knockout loss to Johny Hendricks with an impressive unanimous decision victory over up-and-comer Erick Silva at UFC 153. The bout earned him Fight of the Night honors and allowed him to regain some momentum.
Since dropping down to welterweight, fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Demian Maia has made his mark with two big wins over established fighters in Dong Hyun Kim and Rick Story. The rejuvenated former title contender has shown great improvement in his striking and wrestling over the years.
Maia acknowledged Fitch as “the hardest guy to submit in the UFC” and that statement couldn’t have been further from the truth. Maia came out aggressive early, taking Fitch down and transitioning to his back immediately. Maia displayed his grappling prowess by playing the role of human backpack for the duration of the opening round.
Throughout the fight Maia took his opponent down multiple times and placed himself in many advantageous positions but was unable to submit Fitch. After three rounds, Maia was declared the winner by unanimous decision and made a huge statement to all of the fighters in the welterweight division.
It was a dominant performance by Maia that left no doubt who the victor was.