The UFC Chile main event will now be Demian Maia taking on rising welterweight contender Kamaru Usman.
With Santiago Ponzinibbio injured, a replacement opponent was needed for welterweight contender Kamaru Usman for the UFC Fight Night: Chile main event on May 19th. As of Thursday, the UFC has found the solution.
Ariel Helwani reported that former welterweight title challenger Demian Maia appears to be the guy who will face Usman next month.
Frontrunner to fight Kamaru Usman on 5/19 is Demian Maia, sources confirm. Not 100% finalized but barring a last minute stumbling block that will be the fight.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 26, 2018
UFC officials announced the fight shortly thereafter.
Maia (25-8) fought for Tyron Woodley’s title last year, losing by unanimous decision, thus ending his seven-fight winning streak. He then took on Colby Covington at UFC Sao Paulo last October, and dropped that one by decision. The 40-year-old BJJ specialist has never lost three straight, and assuming he does fight Usman, be his third straight bout against a standout wrestler.
Usman (12-1) is a perfect 7-0 inside the Octagon, and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Emil Weber Meek. His most exciting win to date was a knockout of Sergio Moraes last September, one of just two finishes he’s recorded in the UFC. “The Nigerian Nightmare” had called out Maia back in late 2016, and now it looks as if he’ll finally get to fight him.
UFC Fight Night: Chile is also in need of a co-main event, as Volkan Oezdemir vs. Mauricio Rua was moved to the UFC Fight Night: Hamburg main event.