With 13 Octagon appearances to his credit, Demian Maia has become a staple of the UFC’s middleweight division since joining the promotion in 2007.
Maia’s days at 185 pounds are apparently over, however, as the jiu-jitsu ace announced Wednesday on Twitter that he will be moving down in weight for his next bout.
“Guys, now I [will be] moving down to 170 pounds,” wrote Maia. “Next fight, I [will] be a welterweight.”
Neither a date nor an opponent has been named for Maia’s welterweight debut.
One of the sport’s most respected grapplers, Maia won his category at the 2007 ADCC submission wrestling world championships. The jiu-jitsu black belt amassed 11 consecutive wins to begin his MMA career, five of which came in the Octagon over the likes of Ed Herman, Nate Quarry and Chael Sonnen.
The 34-year-old stumbled in his sixth UFC bout, however, losing by knockout to Nate Marquardt in just 21 seconds. Following a rebound victory over Dan Miller five months later, Maia challenged Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight crown in April 2010, falling to “The Spider” in a lopsided unanimous decision at UFC 112. Since that time, Maia has earned three wins in five outings, most recently losing on points to American prospect Chris Weidman at UFC on Fox 2 on Jan. 28.