With a little more wrestling and striking, Jake Shields pulled out a split decision victory over Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 29 Wednesday night.
Shields was awarded the decision on two scorecards by 48-47 scores. Maia won it on the other one, 48-47.
“This fight ranks up there with Georges St-Pierre and Dan Henderson,” Shields said. “The guy is a phenom and gave me all I could handle.”
Shields (29-6-1) earned his second straight victory and improved to 3-0 with one no-contest since a pair of back-to-back losses in 2011 to GSP and Jake Ellenberger.
“In my mind, it was two rounds apiece,” Shields said. “I thought I edged him out in striking and that was the difference.”
The loss snapped a three-fight win streak for Maia (18-5), who was competing in his native Sao Paulo for the first time in his career.