Damian Maia was recently announced as the replacement to the injured Vitor Belfort, to fight Anderson Silva for the Middleweight Championship on April 10 on UFC 112. This announcement took the mma world by suprise as Maia recently lost to Nate, his first ever career loss. When asked Dana White what factors resulted in Damian Maia getting the title shot, he had this to say:
“These guys are fighting now and Demian Maia’s one of the best in the world,” said White. “Obviously the guy who should get that shot right now is Chael, but he just came out of a really tough fight, he’s busted up, and Demian’s one of the best in the world.”
The biggest reason Maia got the title shot was because Sonnen was not medically cleared to fight in April, due to the cuts he sustained against his fight with Nate, this played a huge role in picking Maia, another reason was that Nate who was considered the number one contender before he fought Chael lost his match taking him out of the championship picture for now and the final reason was because Dan Henderson left UFC few months early so, the best option left was Damian Maia who is considered the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu artist in this generation.
When asked what will make this fight more interesting and exciting than the Leites vs Silva fight, Dana White had this to say;
‘God, i hope he doesn’t fight like Thales Leites did.’ I thing Demian Maia is a very talented guy, he’s one of the best fighters in his weight class and i think he wants to win this title,” said White.
The two are set to face eachother on April 10th in UFC 112, it is going to be a classic example of grappler vs striker.