CHICAGO -- On 11 days notice, Chris Weidman took a less-than-stellar split decision over Demian Maia. The judges saw it 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 for Weidman at the United Center on Saturday night.
Though both men are accomplished grapplers, the first round started with nothing but stand-up. Neither fighter truly got an edge in striking, though it was Maia who got the first takedown. The two got back to their feet quickly, and Maia followed up with aggressive strikes.
Weidman got the takedown to start the second round, but again, they did not stay there for long. Maia's face started to show damage from the repeated hits Weidman delivered, but Weidman's movement around the cage slowed as the round went on. As Weidman slowed, Maia delivered more kicks and punches. Weidman tried for a takedown with a minute left, but Maia easily avoided it. In the final 20 seconds, Weidman was able to get the takedown, and turned over for a choke, but the round ended before he could secure it.
Weidman returned to the clinch in the third round, moving towards Maia and landing knees and punches. They continued their evenly matched striking fest, though both fighters were clearly exhausted.
The crowd in Chicago wasn't enthused about the action, but that's what happens when two grappling aficionados decided to engage in a fist fight.
UPDATE: After the bout, UFC president Dana White tweeted that the scores were read wrong. Weidman actually won by a unanimous decision.
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