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Friday, November 16, 2012
Jon Fitch, Demian Maia to meet

By Franklin McNeil
ESPN.com

Welterweights Jon Fitch and Demian Maia have agreed to meet Feb. 2 at UFC 156, promotion officials announced Thursday night.

Fitch, who is ranked seventh among 170-pound fighters by ESPN.com, came up short in his bid for the title -- dropping a unanimous decision to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 87 in August 2008.

After the loss, Fitch went on a five-fight win streak and appeared headed toward to rematch with St. Pierre, but he hit a snag in 2011 -- unable to register wins in either of his two fights that year.

Fitch (24-4-1) settled for a majority draw against BJ Penn at UFC 127, and was knocked out in the first round by Johny Hendricks at UFC 141.

After his loss to Hendricks, injuries sidelined Fitch for nearly 10 months. He returned to the Octagon on Oct. 13 at UFC 153 and beat fast-rising Erick Silva by unanimous decision.

Maia, an ex-middleweight contender, will look to extend his welterweight mark to 3-0. He registered opening-round finishes over Dong Hyun Kim (TKO) and Rick Story (submission) in his first two 170-pound appearances.

In his lone bid for the 185-pound title, on April 10, 2010, Maia lost by unanimous decision to champion Anderson Silva. He will enter the cage against Fitch with a professional mixed martial arts record of 17-4.

Featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo will defend his title against former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar in the UFC 156 main event, which is slated to take place in Las Vegas.