Demian Maia To Face Anderson Silva At UFC 112One day after scheduled title challenger Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort was forced to withdraw due to injury, jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia has stepped in to face Anderson “The Spider” Silva for the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 112. The promotion confirmed the fight earlier today.

Maia was thought to be on the fast track to a title shot until his 21-second knockout loss to Nate “The Great” Marquardt at UFC 102, but he rebounded with an impressive decision win over Dan Miller at UFC 109. He will need to be even more impressive when he challenges Silva.

Maia (12-1-0) is widely regarded as one of the best submission fighters in the entire world and he choked out his first five UFC opponents, including current top contender Chael Sonnen. The loss to Marquardt was a significant setback, but Maia showed improved striking in his bout with Miller and he is working diligently to develop the rest of his MMA game. Should he be able to take the fight with Silva to the mat, Maia could very well dethrone the seemingly invincible champion.

Silva (25-4-0) has not tasted defeat since a controversial disqualification loss to Yushin “Thunder” Okami in January 2006. He has won 11 straight fights – with ten coming inside the Octagon – and has recently had success in a pair of ventures into the light heavyweight division. With few challengers left for the pound-for-pound stalwart, Silva has all but cleaned out the middleweight ranks. However, he will need to be wary of the superb submission game that Maia possesses.

UFC 112: “Invincible” takes place on April 10th at the Ferrari World Concert Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.


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