The welterweights were in action on the main UFC 156: "Aldo vs. Edgar" pay-per-view (PPV) card tonight (Sat., Feb. 2, 2013) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, as Demian Maia looked to continue his early run of success in his new lighter weight class against a perennial contender in the division, Jon Fitch.
Stylistically, this was an outstanding match-up. Maia is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert with sick submission skills while Fitch is the workhorse grinder who simply doesn't get finished.
This theory was tested early when Maia rushed across the cage upon prompting from the referee, took Fitch down, and proceeded to work for the rest of the round on Fitch's back. He couldn't get the finish but he dominated the round based on positioning if nothing else.
Early edge to the new kid on the block.
Then the second round came and shockingly enough, the Brazilian once again got the former title contender to the floor and once again got his back. This time, though, Maia had a full body triangle and actually attempted a rear-naked choke with one arm under the chin.
Put simply, Fitch was getting dominated. He was taking almost zero damage but he was stuck defending from undesirable positions that dictated he couldn't offer any offense of his own in return.
That's a losing formula if there ever was one.
Knowing he had only five minutes left to earn a finish, Fitch came out hard and fast for the third and final frame. Maia was too good for him, though, and immediately went back to grappling, earning a slow takedown off a clinch against the cage and, as he did in the previous two rounds, took Fitch's back.
Total and complete domination.
Finally, Fitch used a guillotine he snagged during a Maia takedown attempt to get top position. He landed one big elbow but Maia was on his feet not long after and, as Joe Rogan put it, the Brazilian proved he was just a superior grappler.
Final scores read 30-27 across the board, all in favor of Maia.
Anyone think Maia is a legitimate threat at 170-pounds?
For complete results and blow-by-blow coverage from UFC 156 click here.