Kamaru Usman Looks to Capitalize on Huge Opportunity at UFC Fight Night
Already making a name for himself in the UFC, Kamaru Usman could approach stardom with a win over dangerous veteran Demian Maia on Saturday.
Updated: May 18, 2018 • 9:30 AM ET
Santiago, Chile will host its first UFC event on Saturday.
The UFC will head to Santiago, Chile for the first time on Saturday for a card featuring a welterweight fight between a seasoned veteran and a fighter on the rise. No. 5 welterweight Demian Maia will take on No. 7 Kamaru Usman in a fight that will significantly influence the top of the division’s rankings.
Usman is 7-0 in the UFC and has clamored for a high-profile fight. He was originally scheduled to fight Chilean Santiago Ponzinibbio in hostile territory, but an injury forced the No. 10 ranked welterweight to withdraw from the bout. Subsequently, Usman will have no easy task attempting to defeat Maia, who is still dangerous at 40 years old.
Usman has a well-rounded attack with powerful wrestling that has allowed him to impose his will on other fighters, while also making him a feared fighter in the division. He has called out fighters such as Colby Covington and Darren Till and with a win over Maia, he could face one of those two fighters next. Both fighters have fights coming up, however, as Till will fight Stephen Thompson on May 27 and Covington will fight Rafael Dos Anjos for the interim title in June at UFC 225 in Chicago.
Usman is an Ultimate Fighter winner and most recently defeated Emil Meek by unanimous decision in January. He has two finishes in the UFC, and while the rest of his victories have come by unanimous decision, they were completely dominant performances and he won without question. A victory over Maia would officially announce Usman’s arrival as a title contender in the welterweight division.
Maia is riding two straight losses, the most recent of which to Covington by unanimous decision in October following a unanimous decision loss in a title fight to champion Tyron Woodley in July. Prior to the losses, Maia won seven straight fights.
Maia is a former welterweight and middleweight title challenger, and he’s still one of the best jiu jitsu fighters in the UFC. He has submitted fighters such as Carlos Condit, Matt Brown, Neil Magny and Chael Sonnen.
It’ll be interesting to see how this fight plays out between two dangerous ground fighters such as Maia and Usman, and fans could be in store for a technical display by both fighters.
The rest of the main card
Women’s strawweight fight - No. 9 Alexa Grasso vs. No. 12 Tatiana Suarez
Light heavyweight fight - Jared Cannonier vs. Dominick Reyes
Bantamweight fight - Diego Rivas vs. Guido Cannetti
Women’s flyweight fight - Veronica Macedo vs. Andrea Lee
Welterweight fight - Vicente Luque vs. Chad Laprise
Welterweight fight - Zak Cummings vs. Michel Prazeres
Flyweight fight - No. 7 Brandon Moreno vs. No. 12 Alexandre Pantoja
Women’s strawweight fight - Poliana Botelho vs. Syuri Kondo
Featherweight fight - Gabriel Benítez vs. Humberto Bandenay
UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims
Featherweight fight - Enrique Barzola vs. Brandon Davis
Bantamweight fight - Henry Briones vs. Frankie Saenz
Lightweight fight - Claudio Puelles vs. Felipe Silva
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