UFC on FOX 2 Predictions: Demian Maia vs. Chris Weidman

Mike HodgesCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2012

Courtesy of Sherdog.com
Courtesy of Sherdog.com

Former three-time All-American Chris Weidman finds himself entering the biggest bout of his career, as he prepares to meet Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Demian Maia on just one week's notice.

Weidman is considered one of the middleweight division's top prospects and has looked impressive in every showing thus far in the UFC, retaining a perfect record of 3-0. Wins over Alessio Sakara and Jesse Bongfeldt have helped Weidman gain momentum, but he faces a tough task in Maia.

Maia is one of the top BJJ grapplers in the sport today and holds significant victories over some of the division's top competitors including Chael Sonnen. Maia's credentials are some of the best in the division, previously winning a gold medal at the Abu Dhabi World Wrestling Championships in 2007.

Weidman has improved in the stand-up department recently, but his main strength in his grappling, which he'll look to utilize against the Brazilian.

While Weidman holds strong wrestling skills, it will be hard to neutralize the supeior ground game of Maia—especially coming into the bout with little time to prepare.

Weidman should have some success attempting to utilize his wrestling. However, Maia is not uncomfortable off of his back. 

The bout will hit the canvas at some point, with one man imposing his game first, but Maia's experience and grappling efficency will prove to be the difference.

Prediction: Demian Maia second-round submission.