Jon Fitch and Demian Maia have made careers out of taking opponents to the ground and controlling them. At UFC 156, something will have to give.
There's a chance that the grappling defense of both fighters will completely negate all offensive grappling in this fight. However, there's an equal chance that this matchup will be decided in which fighter gets the best of what could be constant scrambles for positioning.
While Maia is one of the best grapplers on the planet, jiu-jitsu practitioners are not known for possessing the explosive takedowns that wrestlers like Fitch have.
Both of these fighters have successfully defended more than half of the takedowns attempted against them, but Maia has been much less effective offensively with his takedowns than Fitch, scoring on only 31 percent of his attempts (via FightMetric.com).
Both of these welterweights are great from the top position, but Maia is more willing to risk position for submissions than Fitch.
Fitch was more active than usual when on top in his most recent fight against Erick Silva, but he could reel it back in against a more dangerous grappler like Maia.
It will be difficult for either fighter to escape if they are taken down, but Fitch leaves even less openings for sweeps and stand-ups than Maia does.
Neither Fitch nor Maia has ever been submitted inside the Octagon, so it's unlikely either fighter will be forced to tap in this bout. However, an advantage would have to go toward Maia in that category if one has to be given.
While Fitch has not submitted an opponent since March 2007, Demian Maia is coming off of one of the most nasty submission wins of 2012, a neck crank so tight that it caused blood to pour from Rick Story's nostrils.
OVERALL GRAPPLING EDGE: Fitch