No.4 ranked welterweight Demian Maia and former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields headline UFC Fight Night on FOX Sports 1 in Brazil on October 9.
By Mike ChiappettaFoxSports
Demian Maia gets the star treatment on Oct. 9, when the UFC brings the Octagon to Barueri, Brazil, less than 30 miles from where he grew up in São Paulo. Maia, still unbeaten as a UFC welterweight, will face former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields in the main event of a UFC Fight Night show which will air live on FOX Sports 1 from the Jose Correa Arena.
The 35-year-old Maia has gone 3-0 since making the move to the 170-pound division. In his most recent fight, he had the most significant win of that stretch, earning a decision over former top contender Jon Fitch. His other wins have come over Rick Story and Dong Hyun Kim.
Maia (18-4) is currently at No. 4 in the UFC welterweight rankings. The match will be a homecoming for Maia, who counts among his greatest achievements winning three bouts in one night at a tournament held in the Jose Correa Arena back in Oct. 2006.
In Shields, he'll have the chance to defeat another former No. 1 contender. Shields fell to current champ Georges St-Pierre at UFC 129 in April 2011, but in the process, he snapped St-Pierre's record streak of consecutive rounds won at 33. Shields won both the fourth and fifth rounds against the champion.
“I am very happy and proud to be the main event,” Maia said in a statement. “I’ve always wanted to fight for the UFC in São Paulo, were I was born and raised. I have a special connection with the Jose Correa arena in Barueri, where I had my first major MMA milestone in 2006. My big goal is to get a title shot and become world champion. I know Jake Shields is a great opponent, with wins over names such as Dan Henderson and Carlos Condit, and beating him is sure to get me within title contention.”
Shields (28-6-1, 1 no contest) has gone 2-1 with 1 no contest since then, with wins over Tyron Woodley and Yoshihiro Akiyama.
The night's co-main event will see exciting welterweight Erick Silva take on Dong Hyun Kim.
Other confirmed matchups include Rony Jason vs. Jeremy Stephens, Thiago Silva vs. Matt Hamill, Fabio Maldonado vs. Joey Beltran, T.J. Dillashaw vs. Raphael Assuncao, Hacran Dias vs. Rodrigo Damm and Iliarde Santos vs. Chris Cariaso.
The event will be the sixth of seven officially scheduled for Brazil in 2013.