UPDATE: The UFC has announced that Demian Maia vs. Kamaru Usman is official for UFC Chile:
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) April 27, 2018
Kamaru Usman may finally get his wish of fighting Demian Maia.
Usman was originally scheduled to take on Santiago Ponzinibbio in the main event of UFC Chile. Ponzinibbio was forced to pull out of the event with an injury. Many have wondered who will step up to face Usman and we may have the answer.
Ariel Helwani is reporting that sources say Maia will likely be Ponzinibbio’s replacement. The bout isn’t set in stone, but it’s certainly trending that way. You can see Helwani’s tweet below:
Frontrunner to fight Kamaru Usman on 5/19 is Demian Maia, sources confirm. Not 100% finalized but barring a last minute stumbling block that will be the fight.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 26, 2018
After going on a seven-fight winning streak, Maia now finds himself looking to avoid a three-fight skid. He fell short in his welterweight title bout against Tyron Woodley at UFC 214 back in July 2017. He then fell to Colby Covington via unanimous decision.
During his winning streak, Maia defeated the likes of Carlos Condit, Jorge Masvidal, and Matt Brown among others. His submission wins over Condit and Brown earned him the number one contender fight with Masvidal. He also won that contest via split decision.
Meanwhile, Usman is on a tear. He has won 11 fights in a row. In that span, he’s finished six of his opponents. In general, Usman has looked dominant in victory but he ran into some trouble against Emil Meek.
UFC Chile takes place on May 19. The action will emanate from the Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile. This will mark the UFC’s first trip to Chile. Not including the main event, there has been 12 fights either announced or reported for UFC Chile.
Strawweights Alexa Grasso and Tatiana Suarez are set to do battle on the card. Light heavyweight action will also be featured on the card as Jared Cannonier meets Dominick Reyes. Andrea Lee will make her highly anticipated UFC debut when she takes on Veronica Macedo.
How do you think Demian Maia and Kamaru Usman match up?