Only fresh off the enthralling main card of UFC 202, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is back once again for UFC on FOX 21 and a welterweight showdown between Carlos Condit and Demian Maia.
Following Conor McGregor's war with Nate Diaz this past weekend, building excitement for a non-pay-per-view card a week later is a hard ask, but with a tantalizing main event and some other notable athletes on the card, UFC on FOX 21 could prove a dark horse.
Driving that home will be Carlos Condit and Demian Maia, two veterans of the game that are still looking to wear that welterweight belt around their waist. Unfortunately, given the time in their careers and how drenched the welterweight division is with talent right now, it could be do or die in their reach for 170-pound gold.
Carlos Condit hasn't fought since January this year, where him and former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler put on a striking clinic in what's considered one of the greatest 170-pound title fights in MMA history. Having lost the fight, Condit spoke of retirement, feeling like he's achieved everything he could in the sport. Thankfully, he changed his mind and “The Natural Born Killer” readies to fight inside the octagon once again.
As for Demian Maia, it's business as usual. The former middleweight challenger decided to make the drop to welterweight in 2012 and despite two back-to-back losses, has gone on to win five straight, including a recent submission win over top contender Matt Brown. That win has put him on the cusp of a welterweight title shot, with Condit the man standing in his way.
Stylistically, both fighters are devastating in their respected fields. Condit is an exciting striker with a solid chin. He'll definitely want to keep the fight standing, while Maia will look for an early takedown and work his Jiu-Jitsu game for a possible submission. On paper, the fight works in the favor of Condit, as the fight starts standing, with Maia having to very careful not to overcompensate on his takedown game, or face a possible knee, elbow, or kick in the process.
If Maia does manage to take the fight to the ground, Condit will need to muster all the jiu-jitsu skill he has to stop Maia gaining the dominant positions or the fight could go either to a one-sided decision or the New Mexico native could find himself asleep.
Until both men step inside the octagon at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and throw down, it's hard to pick a winner, but I'll go with my gut and say Condit edges it.
Carlos Condit to defeat Demian Maia by unanimous decision
We want to know which way you think the fight will go, so let us know in the comments below.
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