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
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.