Two of the top middleweight fighters in the UFC will square off at UFC Fight Night Live, live from the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas on September 15. Submission specialist Demian Maia will step into the Octagon to face red-hot Alan Belcher in the evening’s main event. The records of these two fighters exemplify their elite caliber; however, both will try to prove their supremacy to each other as they attempt to improve their standing in the stacked 185-pound class.
UFC Fight Night Live also features a highly anticipated rematch in the lightweight division, as Mac Danzig seeks revenge against Matt Wiman. In the first fight between The Ultimate Fighter alumni at UFC 115, Wiman was declared the winner after an erroneous call by the referee as Danzig was caught in a submission hold near the end of the first round.
“The Frank Erwin Center is excited and honored to welcome UFC to Austin for the very first time, and only the third time in Texas! Austin has a sizeable UFC fan base and I’m sure they will come out in droves to support their favorite UFC fighters,” said Jimmy Earl, Associate Director of the Frank Erwin Center.
In his last fight, Demian Maia battled reigning middleweight champion, Anderson “The Spider” Silva for 25 minutes in their title bout. In eight fights with the UFC, Maia has also defeated some of the most recognizable names in the middleweight division, including Chael Sonnen, Dan Miller and Ryan Jensen. Maia’s greatest attribute is his ground game, as the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion was able to submit his first five UFC opponents, but in the Miller and Silva fights, he has shown the ability and willingness to stand with anyone.
“Alan Belcher has a very exciting style and I think together we will put on a fight to remember for the fans,” said Maia. “I’m looking to get back to a title shot, and the first step for me is beating Alan impressively.”
With wins in four of his last five fights, Alan Belcher is quickly rising up the UFC ranks. Most recently, Belcher defeated Patrick Cote via submission at UFC 113, a Submission of the Night victory that set up his showdown with Maia. Add in his dynamic striking and exciting style, and Belcher is moving ever closer to a shot at Anderson Silva should he turn back the challenge of Maia.
“I am very appreciative of this opportunity to fight as the main event in the UFC,” Belcher said. “I have a ton of respect for Demian Maia and am excited to be fighting one of the top guys in the middleweight division. I will definitely bring it September 15th as I always do and I hope to gain more fans. I have my eye on the belt and can’t wait to get back in the Octagon. I feel like I will be fighting in my home town with Austin being so close to where I live in Biloxi, Mississippi.”
Before the controversial victory over Danzig at UFC 115, Matt Wiman had won five of his last seven fights, dating back to 2007. The native of Denver, Colorado has a background in jiu-jitsu and has an impressive standup game as well.
The highly experienced Mac Danzig has endured battles with the best of the lightweight division in Jim Miller, Clay Guida and Kurt Pellegrino. After defeating Justin Buchholz at UFC 109, the matchup with Wiman at UFC 115 was important for him to gain momentum, and because of the controversial way the fight ended, the rematch has an increased value attached to it for Danzig’s career.