Demian Maia and Joe Benavidez started UFC 156's main card with decision wins on Saturday night.
In the battle of the wrestler vs. the grappler, grappling whiz Demian Maia easily won over wrestler Jon Fitch.
Fitch, who wrestled collegiately at Purdue, could not stop Maia's takedowns. Throughout all three rounds, Maia took Fitch's back, and controlled him from there throughout. The one saving grace for Fitch was that he could stop Maia's submissions, but Fitch offered no offense. The judges saw it 30-27 on every card for Maia.
Maia has found welterweight to be a much more welcoming weight class. He has three wins there, over Fitch, Rick Story and Dong Hyun Kim. Fitch, on the other hand, has hit a rough patch. He is 1-2-1 in his last four fights.
Joe Benavidez won over Ian McCall to start off the main card. Benavidez had the better of McCall early on, wobbling him early in the first round, but McCall's grappling kept Benavidez at bay in the second round. Benavidez stopped McCall's takedown attempts and wobbled him early in the third round. The judges saw it 29-28 across the board for Benavidez.
Both fighters lost their last bouts to the flyweight champ, Demetrious Johnson. Getting the win at UFC 156 was key for each fighter to get another shot at the belt. Benavidez's win puts him to 17-3, with his last two losses coming in title fights.
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