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Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia set for UFC 112

With Vitor Belort out due to a shoulder injury, submission specialist Demian Maia has been slated as his replacement in an upcoming UFC 112 showdown with Anderson Silva.

The pair of native Brazilians will be facing off for Silva’s UFC middleweight championship.

UFC 112 is scheduled for April 10 from Abu Dhabi, and will also feature a lightweight title bout between B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar, along with a welterweight showdown between Matt Hughes and Renzo Gracie.

“It’s always tough when a top fighter like Vitor Belfort has to pull out of a big title fight, but we have found a high quality replacement,” said UFC President Dana White in the recent release that made the bout official on UFC.com. “Top contender Chael Sonnen was not available due to injuries sustained in his fight with Nate Marquardt, so top six middleweight Demian Maia will step in to fight for the title. Maia is an Abu Dhabi grappling champion, a five-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, and he is 12-1 in MMA and coming off a win over Dan Miller at UFC 109. Anderson Silva vs Demian Maia will be a matchup between MMA’s best striker and MMA’s best grappler.”

Silva last saw action in a non-title light heavyweight bout with Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 which “The Spider” won by first round knockout. Anderson will be looking to make his sixth succesful title defense at UFC 112, with previous defenses coming over the likes of Thales Leites, Patrick Cote, Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin and Nate Marquardt.

Maia was last seen at UFC 109 where the decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt earned himself a unanimous decision victory over Dan Miller. Prior to that outing Demian suffered a lightning quick knockout at the hands of Nate Marquardt at UFC 102 that followed five consecutive submission wins in the UFC.

27 COMMENTS
  • Jak says:

    Instead of Belfort and a stand up war, we get a guy who couldn’t finish Dan Miller, got Ko’d by Marquardt, had h*ll of a time submitting Jason McDonald…

    Did he beat Chael Sonnen? sure.

    Does that mean very many people want to see this fight. Probably not.

  • KTru says:

    ok I know I will get bashed for this but…….

    as much as the comparison of this fight will be as of Silva/Leites, it may not. Maia has a different type of BJJ than Leites and even Palhares. It’s more aggressive and proactive as opposed to other practitioners. Maia has improved his stand up from the Nate beatdown to the Miller fight. Don’t get me wrong, Silva is light years ahead of him.
    considering the UFC had their backs to the wall, at least they are still able to have the Spider defend his title against a contender coming off a victory. Yes Nate beat Maia, yes Maia beat Sonnen, and yes Sonnen beat Nate.

  • fetussandwich says:

    Horrible…just horrible.

  • Dufresne says:

    First thing when I read this was “oh goody…”

    This is the best matchup they could come up with?

    Don’t get me wrong, Maia is a superb submission artist, and the last time I remember Anderson actually getting beat was by submission (I’m not counting his DQ loss cause he was dominating that fight) but I don’t see Maia being able to do it. Chonan took a hell of a beating before he managed to lock in that crazy ass flying scissor heel hook, and we just saw Maia get dropped by a single shot from Marquardt.
    And let’s not kid ourselves, Marquardt may be pretty powerful, but he’s never been known as a KO artist, Unlike The Spider.

    I see Maia either getting KO’d in the first or possibly the second round or I see him trying a Thales Leites style game plan and boring us all into unconsciousness.

  • dpk says:

    Why not. Maia is still a top 6 MW, and Anderson needs a fight. Maia has the skill set to give Anderson trouble… in theory. Otherwise, Anderson sits on the sidelines for a few month and doesn’t fight. After this fight, either Sonnen gets his fight with Anderson, or he gets a chance at redemption against Maia. It sets its self up for another solid MW title fight this summer.

  • medEVIL says:

    Marquardt just came off a complete domination by Sonnen, a guy who lost to Maia, but Nate also KO’d. All 3 men are 1-1 against each other. Sonnen and Maia most recently won, and with Chael unable to fight, Maia is the most reasonable choice at 185. I’m not too excited about fight(I would’ve liked to see Akiyama), but it makes the most sense. I don’t see either title fight at 112 even being close. Both can be over by the 2nd round.

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    Maia is slated for destruction but if Anderson loses balance and falls its whole new ball game.

  • PsYc0tIkDrEaM says:

    Damn injuries come out of nowhere.

    Though this is a fight i’d actually wanted to see if Maia actually did beat Nate. Putting Maia up already is too soon. And looking back at the Maia vs Miller fight; I don’t think Maia can rely on his Jiu jitsu to beat Anderson Silva. And despite Anderson’s 2 other submission losses in which he was Caught by surprise, I do not see Anderson Getting submitted. If Maia wasn’t able to submit a guy who recently received his Black Belt what would make anyone think he would be able to submit Silva…? Silva knows his game is the ground and he’ll tend to stay away from there.

  • elkymbo says:

    This is shit and I’m not afraid to say it. Boo me all you want but the best fight for all of us fans would have been Marquadt vs Silva. Maia is gonna get knocked in the first round & Sonnen would have had one game plan and that would of been to hold Silva down and keep him there.

    Marquadt and Silva would have been a war.

    Wrong choice Dana…..it would have been because of the Abu Dhabi connection.

    Damn him and his good business sense.

    Ah well in the end it’s only going to mean that we see more mma over time…….I’m still pissed off though.

  • darth_irritable says:

    Meh – this is a nice safe fight to at least have Silva defend the title. Hopefully it’s a placeholder fight (with a decent card supporting it) until Gegard Mousasi can jump over from Strikeforce and drop down to MW.

    THAT is a fight I’d love to see.

  • crane_style says:

    I don’t think Maia looked that good beating Miller, and if he couldn’t submit him, what luck will he have against Silva?

    While I think Maia is a good enough fighter to earn a title shot down the road, the only reason this is happening now is because the 185lb is a bit thin right now. Silva is a victim of his own success because, in the past, I think fighters have gone to other weight classes to avoid him.

  • edub says:

    I still think they should of had a fight with Anderson vs. Randy Couture at 205.

  • Makington says:

    Realistically Maia’s only way to win this fight is to pull a Thales Leites. Obviously he can’t and won’t stand with Anderson. That would easily be the dumbest thing he’s ever done. He doesn’t have the high level wrestling capable of dictating the pace and unless he catches Anderson in a perfect trip the way he did with Sonnen (possible but meh) his only choice will be pulling guard and hoping Silva follows him. With Leites just beginning to fade from people’s minds I find it baffling why the UFC would give it to Maia when he still has zero chance of standing with Anderson.

    Maia isn’t stupid and he knows this is his biggest chance of his life. If I were him, hell yeah I would do every single thing in my power to get to the ground but I see this fight going 1 of 2 ways. Anderson lands another one punch that got Maia last time, or we see Maia trying to bait Silva to the ground for 5 rounds.

    Shit, I’d rather have seen Belcher since atleast it would have been guaranteed to be exciting as hell. I respect Maia’s legendary jits but as a fighter he still has a ways to go.

  • justjohn says:

    It’s too bad Dan Henderson is at Strikeforce. I’d have rather seen him go up against Silva instead of Maia. Silva/BJJ fights have the potential to be incredibly boring and Maia’s striking is no where near good enough to go up against Silva’s. I still have nightmares from watching 5 rounds of the Leites back flop. I think a fight at LHW would’ve offered some better choices for Silva.

  • Wow….I’m so unhappy about this fight. But not because of who got the shot just because I expected Vitor to be the first person Anderson couldnt make look like an amateur on his feet. However I think if Maia can tie up Anderson he can end this fast and pretty. That’s a big if though. I doubt he’ll pull a Leites though, Dan Miller is a great wrestler and it was much harder to take him down than it will be Silva. That being said Silva isn’t scared to be on the ground, he just wont stay there. If Maia takes a chance he could have a spectacular….or very dissapointing.. short night.

  • qat says:

    well, im not happy about that matchup, but guess we have to live with it. would have liked him to fight in lhw instead.

    btw. am i the only one who is sick of reading “oh too bad hendo is in sf now, he would be the perfect opponent”
    if hendo would still be ufc, he would have had that fight with nate, winner of that may have been injured as well, and on top of that, sonnen wouldnt even be in title contention at all.
    so the situation might have been the exact same.
    just think twice.. a door closes and another door opens.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    elkymbo: This is shit and I’m not afraid to say it. Boo me all you want but the best fight for all of us fans would have been Marquadt vs Silva. Maia is gonna get knocked in the first round & Sonnen would have had one game plan and that would of been to hold Silva down and keep him there. Marquadt and Silva would have been a war.Wrong choice Dana…..it would have been because of the Abu Dhabi connection.Damn him and his good business sense.Ah well in the end it’s only going to mean that we see more mma over time…….I’m still pissed off though.  (Quote)

    lol.

  • Like a cat playing with a toy

  • Rece Rock says:

    Whatever- this doesn’t really fill the void…

  • sigmund says:

    personnaly i would have rather scrapped the bisping vs wanderlei bout and put one of those two against the spider(preferably wanderlei) that would have made for a much more entertaining fight.

  • WarCry says:

    Lethal Liquid: Maia is slated for destruction but if Anderson loses balance and falls its whole new ball game.  (Quote)

    Couldn’t agree more this fight is hella dangerous. Silva better train with nothing but wrestlers

  • Dufresne says:

    sigmund: personnaly i would have rather scrapped the bisping vs wanderlei bout and put one of those two against the spider(preferably wanderlei) that would have made for a much more entertaining fight.  

    I’d love to see wanderlei v silva, especially since there is some old bad blood between the two. We never see Silva get very emotional about upcoming opponents, but I think that would change if these two were to ever face off.

  • Angry Mike says:

    If the fight isn’t with Belfort, it doesn’t really matter who they send in to fight Silva. Maia is as good as any of the other fighters at 185 in a fight with Silva. Maia can’t stand with Silva, and his fight with Miller proved it conclusively. Without better stand up, Maia isn’t a threat to take Silva down. Silva will win, and it won’t really be close. That’s not a knock on Maia, it’s just that Silva is head and shoulders above everybody else in wth weight class.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I think the easiest fight for Silva out of Hendo, Marquardt, Belfort, Sonnen and Maia is Anderson vs Maia.
    The fight should have been delayed. I think Silva wins this fight 100 times out of 100.
    Those still hanging on to Marquardt, get real! he has a title shot and lost and then had 2 chances at getting another one and lost both those and not by a freak KO like his only win against a top 10 but by losing a decision in both cases. What does that tell you? Look he is a good fighter but he has failed against 3 out of 4 top 10 opponents in his career and that tells me he is not worthy. Sorry but facts are facts and he does not deserve a shot.

  • LiverPunch says:

    I’m telling you the biggest threats to Silva in the MW division are (if available) guys that may out strike him and they are few and far between Belfort and Manhoef are the only 2 and Manhoef is not ready. The other way is top quality guys who can take him down stay on top and grind out victory like Hendo, Sonnen and Filho. Maia has fantastic subs but his wrestling is not yet good enought to get Silva down and control him.
    Sorry but Silva KO early rd 1. Silva gets called the best ever but again he does not fight a major threat.

  • Off Topic says:

    Liverpunch, whould you rather not see him fight? If that is you plan then I can agree but I like to see the UFC belts get defended from time to time. The truth is that Silva has no threats on paper. He should win every fight but I would still rather see it then bitch about his opposition like you. Maybe he should take a couple of years off until someone can catch up to his skill?

  • mu_shin says:

    Silva has shown incredibly strong takedown defense, and even if Maia can take him down, Anderson is well versed on the ground. Even so, each contest is an event unto itself, and there will never be a one hundred percent certainty in the fight game. Maia is a legit top ten opponent, and Silva has to defend the title against the opponents that actually exist, not the phantom challegers that populate the imagination of some disgruntled fans.

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