The UFC Chile card has a main event once more, and Kamaru Usman is staying put.
The beleaguered UFC Chile card once again has a main event. Following news that Santiago Ponzinibbio had been forced from the main event, the UFC announced on Thursday that it had a replacement. Now facing Kamaru Usman atop the card will be Demian Maia. Maia, who challenged for welterweight gold last year, remains one of the most storied names in the welterweight division, and is no doubt a more recognizable name than the man he’s replacing.
Maia (25-8), at age forty, will be looking to snap a two fight losing streak against ‘The Nigerian Nightmare.’ After losing his title shot to Tyron Woodley, Maia was defeated by Colby Covington, who himself will fight for interim gold later this summer.
Maia previously fought at middleweight, losing a shot against then-champ Anderson Silva at UFC 112 in 2010.
Usman (12-1), meanwhile, has won eleven straight fights, and is undefeated in the UFC. He won The Ultimate Fighter 21 in 2015, and has been steadily knocking off welterweights since. Most recently, he picked up a unanimous decision win over Emil Weber Meek. After the bout, he notoriously claimed to have only been fighting at 30%.
He’ll need more than 30% of his effort to top Maia, who has been in the cage with some of the best in the business.
UFC Chile, also known as UFC Fight Night 129, takes place May 19 at the MoviStar Arena in Santiago, Chile.