Welterweight contenders Jon Fitch and Demian Maia will square off at UFC 156, promotion officials announced Thursday.
UFC 156 takes place on Feb. 2 and serves as the promotion’s annual Super Bowl weekend card. The evening’s main draw airs live on pay-per-view and will see Jose Aldo defend his featherweight title against former lightweight king Frankie Edgar in the main event. The show also features a heavyweight collision between former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem and onetime EliteXC boss Antonio Silva.
Long regarded as one of the sport’s premier welterweights, Fitch, 34, has won six of his last eight. In his most recent appearance, the American Kickboxing Academy standout rebounded from a December 2011 knockout loss to Johny Hendricks by outlasting rising talent Erick Silva at UFC 153 last month. A former welterweight title contender, Fitch owns notable Octagon wins over Mike Pierce, Diego Sanchez, Ben Saunders and Thiago Alves (twice).
Known for his elite submission game, Maia dropped to 170 pounds this summer after competing 13 times as a UFC middleweight. The decorated grappler made a successful welterweight debut this past July, injuring Dong Hyun Kim during a takedown to earn a 47-second technical knockout victory at UFC 148. Most recently, Maia competed against well-rounded southpaw Rick Story one month ago at UFC 153, taking the American’s back early en route to finishing the fight with a neck crank midway through round one.