And so, the speculation comes to an end. Following his beatdown of Jason Miller at the TUF 14 Finale, UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping will make a quick seven-week turnaround and fight Demian Maia at UFC on FOX 2 (January 28th, Chicago). The UFC confirmed the pairing early this morning, in advance of a scheduled press conference this afternoon at the United Center officially announcing the fight card.
While Bisping is rolling on a four-fight win streak, Maia just got back to the win column in October with a unanimous decision over Jorge Santiago, which followed a decision loss to Mark Munoz. Maia is 3-1 overall since his disastrous title challenge against Anderson Silva at UFC 112. When he enters the cage next month, it will have been nearly three years since the former grappling phenom scored a submission in the Octagon — a triangle choke against none other than Chael Sonnen at UFC 95.
UFC on FOX 2 will be headlined by the #1 light-heavyweight contender’s match between Rashad Evans and Phil Davis, and co-headlined by the #1 middleweight contender’s match between Sonnen and Mark Munoz. A decisive win over Maia would likely put Bisping next in the pecking order at 185. Due to his current medical suspension, Bisping really isn’t supposed to start training again until Christmas day, but hey, business is business.