UFC 148 Results: 5 Fights for Demian Maia to Take Next

Mark Pare@NEPats17Correspondent IIJuly 8, 2012

UFC 148 Results: 5 Fights for Demian Maia to Take Next

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    Although it wasn't as climactic and highlight reel worthy, Demian Maia still collected a win at UFC 148 over Dong Hyun Kim in his first bout as welterweight.

    The former middleweight title challenger is looking for a fresh start at a lighter weight class and with plenty of bodies to go up against, Maia won't be bored any time soon.

    With experienced fighters in a new weight class, we always put together some dream fights that end up becoming reality in some way or another, like when we keep discussing Anderson Silva and Jon Jones or even Silva and Georges St. Pierre.

    That is what were going to do here as there are five potential battles for Maia.

Jake Shields (27-6-1)

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    Why not a former challenger to Georges St. Pierre's UFC welterweight crown who fell on hard times?

    Yes, Jake Shields hasn't been the same since that night in Rogers Centre in Toronto in April 2011.  After losing to GSP, Shields was knocked out in under a minute by Jake Ellenberger.

    Now, he is starting to return to form, with a big unanimous decision win over Yoshihiro Akiyama in Japan at UFC 144.

    Shields' grappling could fare well against Maia's Jiu-jitsu but which style would win?

    All we know if that if these two lock horns, it won't be a striker's battle and there will more than likely be someone tapping out in the time allotted.

Brian Ebersole (50-14-1 1 NC)

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    Maia may not have felt tested in his welterweight debut, as the bout finished in short order due to the rib injury to Dong Hyun Kim.

    If Maia wants a true test at 170, look no further than MMA veteran Brian Ebersole.  The man hasn't lost since September 2008, a time spanning 11 fights and 11 wins.

    He is another top-tier wrestler who could also get it done on the feet with 14 career knockouts, the most recent being against Dennis Hallman at UFC 133.

    Ebersole knows what needs to get done and would be a great matchup for Maia.

    It'll be interesting how quickly Maia would try to ground Ebersole.

Amir Sadollah (6-3)

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    The TUF 7 winner has come a long way.  All of his professional fights have been with the UFC and he is coming off a win over Jorge Lopez in May.

    The latest is that Sadollah is lined up to face former title challenger Dan Hardy in September but if that falls through, you can bet Maia will be looking for every opportunity to get back in the Octagon at welterweight to prove himself.

    Sadollah would be a good fight for Maia stylistically.  Sadollah can beat you many ways and at his stage, he needs to step up to reach that next level—a win over Maia could do that for him.

    A win for Maia could put him into a position to fight a member of the division's top 10.

Josh Koscheck (17-6)

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    This fight may not happen for a bit but Maia and Koscheck have that potential to go into a mat wrestling war.

    Both are amazing technicians on the ground.  The one thing that puts over Koscheck is his striking.  He knocked out Matt Hughes in September 2011, but couldn't get by Johny Hendricks in his most recent bout in May.

    With Koscheck up higher on the top 10 list, as said, this bout would a take a bit to create but would be a good fight when it finally does come to fruition.

Matt Brown (15-11)

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    Matt Brown could be a realistic opponent for Maia.  He's been in the division a while and new blood could be what gets Brown into a top position at 170.

    Maia can benefit from a win over Brown as well.  He's a suitable opponent, one that has a three-fight winning streak going and has won four of his last five.

    Brown is great at finishing fights on the feet and his judo and Jiu-jitsu will serve him well if need be.

    A respectable fight for both men and although the fights listed earlier would be great immediately, this one seems to make the most sense.

    What do you think?


    Mark Pare is a Featured Columnist. You can follow him on Twitter, and don't forget to check out his sportswriter page.