The UFC kicks back into gear this weekend, returning with the first “Fight Night” in nearly two years. The schedule of events heats up as the year goes on, and fans will once again be able to enjoy smaller cards on Wednesday evenings.
UFC Fight Night 29 will be held in Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil, per a report by MMAFighting.com, and will be headlined by decorated grapplers Jake Shields and Demian Maia.
Maia was initially set to face Josh Koscheck at last weekend’s UFC 163, but an injury forced Koscheck from the event. Maia, now 3-0 since his return to welterweight, is coming off of a dominant performance against Jon Fitch in which he exhibited complete control over the former title contender on the ground. He is a multi-time world champion in grappling and jiu jitsu competition, and will face a fellow elite grappler as he looks to stake his claim as a contender.
Shields entered the UFC amid high expectations, as a former Shooto welterweight champion, EliteXC welterweight champion, and Strikeforce middleweight champion. Unfortunately, his performances within the octagon haven’t matched his prior career achievements. He won a close split-decision against Martin Kampmann in his debut, before losing a one-sided affair to champion Georges St. Pierre, and getting finished in the first round by Jake Ellenberger. Shields was victorious in his next two outings against Yoshihiro Akiyama and Ed Herman, but the latter was overturned due to a failed drug exam. He is back in the win column after grinding out a win against Tyron Woodley at UFC 161, and will need to put on an impressive display against Maia to ever get his name back in the title conversation.
UFC Fight Night 29 will be held on Wednesday, October 9, 2013.