UFC Fight Night Preview and Predictions: Demian Maia vs Kamuru Usman

The main event of the UFC’s first ever event in Chile – UFC Fight Night 129 – sees up and coming Kamuru Esman face long-time veteran Demian Maia.

For Usman – who has won all of his seven UFC fights – it is a chance to prove himself as a top contender by beating a former title challenger while for Maia, it is an opportunity to rebound from a two-fight losing streak.

Demian Maia Form and Fight Record

Res.

Opponent

Method

Event

Date

Loss Colby Covington Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida October 28, 2017
Loss Tyron Woodley Decision (unanimous) UFC 214 July 29, 2017
Win Jorge Masvidal Decision (split) UFC 211 May 13, 2017
Win Carlos Condit Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC on Fox: Maia vs. Condit August 27, 2016
Win Matt Brown Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 198 May 14, 2016

Maia’s key to victory is no surprise – take the fight to the ground and use his far superior jiu-jitsu to submit Usman. Although Maia has challenged for both the UFC Welterweight and Middleweight titles, the fact is his striking is far from excellent, while his grappling and submission games are among the best in MMA.

Kamaru Usman Form and Fight Record

Res.

Opponent

Method

Event

Date

Win Emil Weber Meek Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi January 14, 2018
Win Sérgio Moraes KO (punch) UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch September 16, 2017
Win Sean Strickland Decision (unanimous) UFC 210 April 8, 2017
Win Warlley Alves Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. Nogueira 2 November 19, 2016
Win Alexander Yakovlev Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Holm vs. Shevchenko July 23, 2016

Like he does, or attempts to do in all of his fights, Maia needs to take Usman down and constantly look for submissions if he to get back into the win column.

Usman will be better placed by using a more mixed approach while keeping most of the fight on the feet. The Nigerian-American has displayed quick and strong hands throughout his three years in the UFC, and he should easily dominate Maia in the striking battles.

However, Usman is also an accomplished wrestler, and he may also be able to take Maia down and wear him down with ground and pound if the fight reaches the fourth and fifth rounds.

Our UFC Fight Night Prediction

This will be one of those ‘passing of the guard’ moments as Usman will win a comfortable decision over the 28-UFC fight veteran Maia, and cement himself as a top ten fighter in the process. Usman via decision (49-46, 50-45, 49-46).

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