One judge thought fourth-ranked Demian Maia (pictured) won the UFC Welterweight battle Wednesday night, but he was edged out in a split decision by Jake Shields in a grappling match. There was already plenty of video evidence to show that Shields has a tremendous amount of skill and talent as well as the ability to win fights. The win against a simmering to hot Maia goes a long way to get Shields’s career back on track after being the champion of the now defunct Strikeforce.
Shields kept Maia on the ground in the second and fourth rounds and was aggressive throughout the final round to claim the decision.
It was the latest installment of UFC Fight Night, which provides an opportunity for fight fans to see lower ranked competitors who are seeking the major event stage resulting in blood and grueling battles as the fighters look to have their hand raised.
Both welterweights have been number one contenders for the UFC belt but have fallen short.
Fourth-ranked Maia has been a different fighter since his one-sided title-fight loss to former middleweight champion Anderson Silva back in April of 2010. Since that loss, he had gone 6-2 until Wednesday’s loss, with the other two losses coming from Mark Munoz (13-3), and current middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Those two fights took place in the middleweight division.
Maia had finished two of his last three opponents before Wednesday’s battle went the distance. Maia won by decision against Jon Fitch, who has only been stopped once in his UFC career. Shields ended Maia’s three match winning streak as a welterweight.
Shields has had a mixed relationship since coming to the Octagon. Finishing his tenure in the now defunct Strikeforce as the champion, he found himself losing in his title shot against Georges St. Pierre after winning his UFC debut against Martin Kampmann. Since then, Shields now has three wins, one loss, and one no contest.