UFC 156 features a compelling welterweight bout between Jon Fitch and Demian Maia that could determine who will be the next challenger for the belt, which is currently being held by Georges St. Pierre. Not only is this bout compelling in terms of title implications, but both present interesting stylistic match ups.
Jon Fitch is a perennial welterweight contender that faced Georges St. Pierre in a championship bout. Fitch was not successful in the bout, but showed tremendous heart that has served him well even today in his MMA career. After the bout, Fitch would rattle off consecutive wins before getting knocked out by the powerhouse Johny Hendricks.
It was a devastating loss for Fitch, and one that certainly lit a fire under him. After this loss, Fitch would rattle back with a dominating victory over the rising star Erick Silva. A win over Maia puts him right back in the title picture, which is something fans have come to expect from a high-caliber fighter that Fitch is.
Demian Maia also had a title shot of his own when he faced Anderson Silva for the middleweight championship. He would also come up short, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. After a loss to Chris Weidman, Maia made the transition to welterweight and it was a success. In his welterweight debut, Maia would defeat Dong-Hyun Kim, who is a competent grappler in his own right. Then, Maia would defeat Rick Story with one of the nastiest rear naked chokes that has happened in the UFC in some time now.
Both of these fighters are two of the best grapplers in the welterweight division. Fitch is a high-caliber wrestler and he it is virtually impossible to submit him, which can be seen with his bout against Erick Silva. Maia is one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in MMA right now, and his transitions are a thing of beauty. This fight is more than likely hitting the ground, which is a grappler’s dream match up.