Lately rumors swirled that Demian Maia might face off against Nick Diaz sometime later this year, possibly at the UFC’s return to Rio in August. Other plans came today from NewsMMA, who reported that Maia will fight at UFC 163 in Rio against Josh Koscheck. Many think that Maia is on the verge of a title shot, but will a win over Josh Koscheck get him there?
Most likely not, as Jake Ellenberger is fighting Rory MacDonald at July 27th’s UFC on Fox 8. That matchup of #3 vs. #4 at 170 lbs. would seem to hold more title implications than a Koscheck/Maia showdown. But there was a shortage of top contenders without a fight, so the outspoken Kos finds himself with a golden opportunity to knock off one of the division’s hottest fighters in Maia.
The recent exploits of Maia and Koscheck couldn’t be more different, as Maia has blitzkrieged through the division by beating Dong Hyun Kim, Rick Story, and Jon Fitch in dominating fashion. Koscheck, on the other hand, finds himself at a career crossroads having uncharacteristically lost 3 out of his last 5. He was last seen getting TKO’ed in the first by Robbie Lawler at UFC 157 in an uninspired performance. If he can beat Maia, it would prove he still has some relevancy left.
But another loss could send Kos closer to retirement, and beating Maia will be no easy task considering the absolute ground clinic he exhibited on Kos’s former training partner Jon Fitch. UFC 163 will feature Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis for the UFC Featherweight title as the main event. With this pivotal welterweight matchup added to the fray, the event is starting to shape up for a summer that could quite exciting for the UFC.