Nick Diaz versus Demian Maia was the fight assumed, as UFC rankings placed the two side-by-side. With no word of Diaz’s return from retirement however, it looks that Maia will instead face-off against brash welterweight Josh Koscheck at UFC 163 on August 3 in Rio, Brazil, according to multiple sources. The card is expected to headline featherweight champ Jose Aldo versus lightweight top contender Anthony Pettis.
The match-up does not follow the usual UFC formula of winner versus winner; considering the fact that Koscheck is coming off back-to-back losses from Robbie Lawler in Feb. and Johny Hendricks in May 2012. A one-time contender to the belt, and Ultimate Fighter coach, Koscheck does carry notoriety into the fight, which Maia could benefit from greatly.
Maia may also be a former contender at middleweight, but he’s not as familiarized with casual fans. With three straight impressive wins in his new found weight class, including a win over Jon Fitch, Rick Story and Dong Hyun Kim, a win over Koscheck is likely to spark talks of title contention.
The bout is yet to be made official by the UFC, but with multiple sources claiming the agreements in place — it’s rare that the rumor mill comes up short when the sources come from those close to the camp.