UFC welterweight Jon Fitch has never been one to back down from a challenge, stepping up to the plate in past appearances against the division’s top talent including the likes of Thiago Alves, Diego Sanchez, Johny Hendricks, B.J. Penn, and of course Georges St-Pierre. As such, when a showdown with streaking submission specialist Demian Maia was offered, Fitch jumped on the opportunity in order to prove he’s still one of the best fighters on the organization’s roster.

“He’s really a monster at 170. I was surprised at how big he was down in Rio,” said Fitch to ESPN of his experience with Maia at UFC 153. At the event, Fitch outpointed rising star Erick Silva in a Fight of the Night winner, while the 17-4 Maia looked extremely sharp en route to an opening round tap-out of Rick Story.

“It will be an interesting match-up,” Fitch continued. “I haven’t created too much of a game plan, but I think I’ll overwhelm him with everything that I bring to the table.”

Fitch (24-4-1) has a reputation for being a physical grappler who prefers to grind opponents down. Of course, Maia’s BJJ arsenal contains a number of attacks from the bottom, making for what should be an excellent encounter.

The February 2 bout between Fitch-Maia is set to serve as one of the featured PPV fights at UFC 156.