While Demian Maia will face a tough task in former #1 contender Jake Shields tonight at UFC Fight Night 29, if he wins, that will be four straight since he dropped down to welterweight. Although other surging vets like Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown are also on the move (and there’s also Rory MacDonald), Maia believes a title shot could be coming if he records his 19th victory in Barueri.
The jiu-jitsu demi-god recently relayed in a media scrum (comments via MMA Fighting.com):
“I hope I can get the chance after I win,” said Maia, who has defeated Dong Hyun Kim, Rick Story and most recently Jon Fitch at 170. “It will be four wins in a row. I’ve already fought for the title in the middleweight (division), so I’ll be better ranked. The other fighters ranked higher than me already fought for the (welterweight) title.”
“Shields is not well ranked not but he already defeated Carlos Condit, a former UFC interim champion, and he’s a former Strikeforce champion,” he said. “These rankings don’t mean much, but I believe I’ll be able (to earn a title shot with a win). I don’t see another fighter to fight.”
Although Shields isn’t everybody’s favourite, due to his grappling based style, a win over the former Strikeforce champ would be huge for Maia. That said, the Brazilian may have to take out another top contender before a title shot is offered, due to how stacked the welterweight division is. Tonight should be interesting.
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