Photo of Demian Maia by Esther Lin via MMAFighting.com.
UFC 148: "Silva vs. Sonnen 2," taking place tonight (Sat., July 7, 2012) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, featured the welterweight debut of Demian Maia in a tough match-up against Dong Hyun Kim.
Indeed, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt was immediately given a stiff test in his new weight class against the South Korean judo player. Could Maia get back to the form that saw him run up an 11 fight win streak with eight submissions to start his career?
You bet cha.
He didn't do so by scoring a submission, though he definitely had his eye on one. He rushed Kim early, grabbed him for a takedown and ended up flattening him on the mat. But when he did, he injured him in some way and that forced the quick tap.
Welcome to welterweight, Mr. Maia.
Maia wasted no time looking for the takedown, rushing Kim and putting him against the fence within the first 30 seconds. Within the first 40, he had the Korean's back and looking for a trip. Within the first 50, he got the trip and passed to full mount.
Suddenly, he tapped, which only Maia saw or felt, and he got up celebrating. Replays showed that Maia's takedown led to Kim submitting but it was hard to tell exactly what happened.
The doctors appeared to be checking his ribs immediately after. Ouch.
Either way, Maia's 170-pound debut was a resounding success.
Remember, too, to check out MMAmania.com's live ongoing coverage of the UFC 148 main card by clicking here.