Demian Maia -- eager to get back in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight mix with a win over a noteworthy opponent -- will have to first topple Octagon newcomer Alexander Yakovlev at UFC Fight Night 42, which is set for Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 31, 2014.
Yakovlev -- who was originally scheduled to debut against Yan Cabral at UFC Fight Night 41 on May 10, 2014 -- will serve as a replacement for Mike Pierce, who broke his hand training for the Maia match (read full details here).
Maia is in the midst of back-to-back losses for the first time in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, dropping a split decision to Jake Shields at UFC Fight Night 29 back in Oct. 2013 and, most recently, getting beat to the punch by Rory MacDonald to lose unanimously on the judges scorecards at UFC 170 back in Feb. 2014.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist -- who is currently the No. 8-ranked 170-pound fighter on the promotion's roster -- probably won't advance his position much further even with an impressive victory over the Russian import because he is virtually unknown to the masses.
In other words, it's a no-win situation.
Nonetheless, Yakovlev is fresh off a unanimous decision over former Elite XC, Strikeforce and UFC veteran, Paul Daley, scoring a unanimous decision over the heavy-handed "Semtex" at Legend, Part 2: "Invasion" back in Nov. 2013. "Bad Boy," 29, has won eight out of nine recent bouts, including one draw, primarily via submission.
Yakovlev, however, will more than likely need to rely on his stand up -- not submission offense -- to defeat Maia, one of the best in the sport whenever a fight hits the floor.
Besides the reworked Heavyweight main event between Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic (read more here), not many notable bouts have been announced for the UFC Fight Night 42 at this time.
To check out the latest UFC Fight Night 42: "Dos Santos vs. Miocic" fight card and rumors click here.