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.