The fight was confirmed through ESPN by the UFC after speculation that Bisping would be making his return as early as the first month of 2012.
Bisping is coming off his impressive victory over Jason "Mayhem" Miller at the Ultimate Fighter Finale. After an intense season of TUF opposite Miller, Bisping had little trouble in stopping his opponent three rounds into the fight by strikes. It set him up for a possible chance at a top contender, and Maia is someone who has experience fighting the very best.
Maia will enter the bout with a 15-3 record, including nine of those from inside the Octagon. His only losses are to Anderson Silva, Nate Marquardt and Mark Munoz.
A win for Bisping would mean he is one of the top fighter's in the division, and one fight away from a long-awaited title shot.