An enticing co-main event between top welterweight grapplers Demian Maia and Gilbert Burns is currently in the works for UFC Fight Night 170 on Mar. 14 live on ESPN+ from inside Ginasio Nilson Nelson in Brasilia, Brazil, per a recent report by Combate.
This will be a tremendous matchup to say the least if the welterweight booking is finalized. Maia is widely regarded as one of the very best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) practitioners to ever compete in MMA while Burns is a former grappling world champion with one of the best ground games at the lightweight and welterweight levels.
Maia, 42, is certainly on the tail end of his illustrious career, but the two-time UFC title challenger remains one of the most dangerous outs at 170 pounds. After losing three in a row to Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington, and Kamaru Usman from 2017-2018, Maia has won his last three trips to the Octagon, including a recent submission victory over grappling expert Ben Askren. While Burns is only ranked No. 13 in the UFC’s welterweight division a win for Maia should allow the Brazilian legend to score a top 10, if not top 5 opponent, his next time out.
Burns, 33, has been extremely dominant of late. After racking off back-to-back wins over Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Mike Davis in the UFC’s lightweight division the Brazilian veteran moved up to 170 pounds this past August to knock off the likes of Alexey Kunchenko and Gunnar Nelson. That makes it four in a row for “Durinho,” which is currently the best win streak of his five-year UFC career. A win over Maia would do wonders for Burns’ welterweight ranking heading into 2020 and could land him another top 10 opponent this summer.
Stick with Mania for more UFC Brasilia fight card news, including the unnamed main event.