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Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Demian Maia-Jake Shields due Oct. 9

By Franklin McNeil
ESPN.com

Welterweight contender Demian Maia attempts to strengthen his case for a title shot Oct. 9 when he faces Jake Shields in Barueri, Brazil, UFC officials announced Tuesday.

Maia
Demian Maia punches Jon Fitch during their welterweight fight at UFC 156.

Maia and Shields will headline UFC Fight Night 29. The event will be held at Jose Correa Arena.

"My big goal is to get a title shot and become world champion," said Maia, a native of Sao Paulo. "I know Jake Shields is a great opponent, with wins over names such as Dan Henderson and Carlos Condit, and beating him is sure to get me within title contention."

Maia, a former middleweight, is unbeaten in three fights since making his 170-pound debut in July 2012. He has a professional record of 18-4 and is ranked fifth among welterweights by ESPN.com.

Shields, a former titleholder at middleweight (Strikeforce) and welterweight (Elite XC), has struggled in UFC competition. He is 3-2 with one no contest inside the Octagon.

In his most recent fight, a lackluster performance against Tyron Woodley on June 15, Shields came away with a split-decision win. The result improved his career mark to 28-6-1 with one no contest.

Maia and Shields are highly skilled jiu-jitsu practitioners. But Maia is widely considered the most skilled fighter at that discipline in mixed martial arts. Shields, however, is undeterred.

"Fighting Demian on his home turf will not be an issue," Shields said. "His strengths are obvious: He's the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu martial artist in my division.

"His weakness is his stand-up. I want to beat him at what he's best at."