Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
This will be one of the most intriguing fights in all of 2013, and thankfully we will get it in early February.
Fitch's ability to defend submissions and to embrace the grind makes this look like it could be a typical Jon Fitch fight.
However, I don't think it will be.
Entering UFC 153, Fitch knew he had to be more exciting (via MMAWeekly.com):
Priorities have changed and things I’ve had to accept. I think I was kind of just stubborn with wanting this sport to just be a sport kind of like an amateur sport. Well, it’s not, it’s an entertainment industry and at the end of the day, the people who get the opportunity are the people who sell tickets. It doesn’t matter who you beat, it might matter how you beat them, but if people see you as boring and you don’t sell tickets, you’re not going to get opportunities.
And he was exciting. It also put him in a bit of trouble.
I expect it will again at UFC 156, and this time it will cost him a win. Maia will find one small opportunity to submit Fitch and move closer to a title shot. It is a long shot to predict a submission victory over Fitch, but I am willing to step out on that limb.
Fitch will tap for the first time under the UFC banner.
Prediction: Maia defeats Fitch via submission in the second round