As of now this is very much a rumor, but Heavy.com is reporting that Demian Maia (12-1) will step in to face world middleweight champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva (25-4) at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi on April 10th now that previous challenger Vitor Belfort (19-8) was forced to withdraw due to a shoulder injury that required surgery. Maia rebounded from his first setback as a pro fighter and won a decision against Dan Miller just last weekend in Las Vegas. Keep in mind that this is still an unsubstantiated rumor. I can tell you, however, that this is also the word that I've been hearing today but I had assumed that Silva would take on a light heavyweight (like Kelvin has menioned in a previous piece). It could take several days for us to hear anything 100% confirmed from Zuffa. Luckily, Belfort's withdrawal came far enough in advance to leave plenty of time for the champion and his new opponent to train properly for the event. Stay tuned.
[Note by Kelvin Hunt, 02/12/10 10:34 PM EST ]From UFC.com:
Following a hard-fought three round win over Dan Miller at UFC 109 that showed him to be more than just a submission expert, DemianDemian Maia gives his thoughts via Twitter:
Maiawill jump right back into training camp for the biggest fight of his career – an April 10th meeting with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 112 at Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
A dream of a lifetime, in one night. @UFC 112