UFC on FOX 2: Demian Maia on Opponent Switch, Fight Style of Bisping and Weidman

Mark Pare@NEPats17Correspondent IIJanuary 25, 2012

On Saturday, January 28, the UFC will return to the FOX network with a lineup of fights that have plenty of title implications.

The three main events include Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis, while the other two were shaken up recently due to an injury to Mark Munoz.

Michael Bisping took Munoz's place and will now fight Chael Sonnen.  Bisping's original opponent, Demian Maia, will now face Chris Weidman.

Maia has won three of his last four fights and is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Jorge Santiago at UFC 136. 

Maia says the injury to Munoz set up a crazy day on the phone.

"That was crazy, you know, like in two hours, they told me I was not going to fight anymore (due to Bisping moving up to face Sonnen) then after two hours, they were like 'we set up the fight (against Weidman)' and I said 'okay, good,'" said Maia on the UFC on FOX 2 conference call.

When Maia was facing Bisping, he was facing a guy who has been well-known for many years for his appearance on TUF.  When asked about Weidman, Maia said that "(he) makes up for (not being as well-known) with experience."

While Bisping is known for his striking and KO power, Weidman is known for his wrestling.  Maia said the transition in styles for his opponents didn't bother him.

"I've been fighting against wrestlers before and I just have to go back to my roots," said Maia, "(Bisping) is a striker but I have time to make the adjustment and (Weidman) doesn't have the time to adjust to me too so we're in the same line."


Despite being bumped initially from the card, Maia insisted that he wanted to be on the FOX card, and with the opening, Weidman jumped at the opportunity on short notice.

I don't think it would have mattered who it was. You only live once and some people never get an opportunity like this given to them. In my mind, this is truly the first Fox card, there's three fights and this is history in the making. I wasn't gonna let someone else take this opportunity.

I was so pumped up to fight Demian Maia, I didn't care when it was. I have a lot of respect for him and I'm excited to test myself.

When told about fighting Weidman, Maia said that he wasn't surprised that the UFC chose him as a replacement and that he was impressed with Weidman's submission skills, which were on display in his fight with Tom Lawlor in November.

These two will come to a head on Saturday night as both of them look to climb up the middleweight ranks.


Mark Pare is a UFC Featured Columnist. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand. You can follow him on Twitter and don't forget to check out his sportswriter page.