Brazilian submission expert Demian Maia (24-6) is generally considered by most to be the de facto number one contender for the UFC’s welterweight championship once the rematch between current champion Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen Thompson reaches its conclusion this weekend at UFC 209 in Las Vegas.
Since losing to Jake Shields and Rory MacDonald, the 39-year-old has won six straight at 170-pounds, including wins over the likes of Carlos Condit, Gunnar Nelson, Matt Brown to place himself in title contention and has previously indicated a preference to sit out and wait for the dust to settle atop the welterweight division.
According to a report out of Brazil’s Combate.com, however, the UFC might have other plans Maia and are working on scheduling a bout between Maia and Jorge Masvidal — a fighter on a run of his own at welterweight — at April’s UFC event in Nashville.
Masvidal has fought twice since the beginning of December racking off wins against Jake Ellenberger and Donald Cerrone, added to a July victory over Ross Pearson, and was recently campaigning for a bout with the soon-to-return Nick Diaz. A bout with Maia, though, represents an opportunity to dethrone the consensus #1 contender in his division.
UFC Nashville is set to be headlined by Artem Lobov vs. Cub Swanson and will also feature the return of Al Iaquinta, who faces UFC veteran Diego Sanchez. The event takes place in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on April 22nd.