Demian Maia's manager wants Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Tarec Saffiedine next

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

With all the top UFC welterweight contenders booked to fight at UFC 158 next month, Demian Maia wants to remain busy. And the most interesting available opponent is current Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine. Check out why Maia's manager thinks the fight makes sense below.

Calling all sponges!

Demian Maia scored an emphatic victory just over a week ago on the UFC 156 against perennial contender Jon Fitch via dominant decision. The win clearly put the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion in the mix among the top potential title challengers at welterweight.

The problem?

As Maia's manager Eduardo Alonso revealed to Tatame, all the top contenders are already booked for fights at UFC 158 next month. If Maia doesn't want to wait, one of the only options is Tarec Saffiedine, the current Strikeforce welterweight champion who dethroned Nate Marquardt last month in the final Strikeforce event and is now heading to the big show in the UFC.

"The division is scrambled, almost all the contenders are fighting at UFC 158 in March, including Georges St-Pierre. Now, Demian is among the tops. Do not know if it pays to wait. Has Strikeforce champion coming so we'll see who shows up."

Alonso is well aware that the next title challenger is probably going to be decided at UFC 158, but if Maia wants to stay active, he feels the best possible fight for the former middleweight title challenger has to be Saffiedine, which would add some prestige considering he's entering the UFC with a title.

"We do not know who will win at UFC 158. If MacDonald defeats Condit, he gets closer. Saffiedine, being Strikeforce champion, adds prestige. Depending on the timing, it can be interesting. Let's talk to the UFC and see what they're thinking."

Saffiedine (14-3) is currently riding a four fight winning streak which includes victories over the likes of Scott Smith, Roger Bowling and Marquardt. His victory over "The Great" was a five round affair which included some serious punishment via leg kicks which hobbled the champion and allowed the Team Quest fighter to win the title.

Maia (18-4) has looked very impressive since dropping down to 170 pounds, stopping both Dong Hyun Kim and Rick Story in the first round before earning a dominant decision against Fitch.

Is this a fight you'd be interested in seeing, Maniacs?

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