“I am very happy and proud to be the main event,” said Maia. “I’ve always wanted to fight for the UFC in São Paulo, were I was born and raised. I have a special connection with the Jose Correa arena in Barueri, where I had my first major MMA milestone in 2006.
“My big goal is to get a title shot and become world champion. 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.”
“The Brazilian audience is intimidating and enthusiastic, and it makes for an excellent atmosphere,” said Jake Shields. “But once I get in the Octagon, I’ll be focused and ready. Fighting Demian on his home turf will not be an issue.
“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.”
The co-main event of the evening features another pivotal welterweight match-up, as Brazilian fighter Erick Silva takes on Korean standout Dong Hyun Kim.
Tickets for UFC Fight Night 29: Maia vs. Shields go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 21. The event will be broadcast live in the United States on Fox Sports 1.
UFC Fight Night 29 Confirmed Fight Card
-Demian Maia vs. Jake Shields
-Erick Silva vs. Dong Hyun Kim
-Rony Jason vs. Jeremy Stephens
-Thiago Silva vs. Matt Hamill
-Fábio Maldonado vs. Joey Beltran
-Raphael Assunção vs. TJ Dillashaw
-Hacran Dias vs. Rodrigo Damm
-Iliarde Santos vs. Chris Cariaso
(Photo courtesy of @DemianMaia)