Round 1: Maia immediately shoots for the takedown, but winds up clinched with him on the fence before eventually tripping him to the mat. Maia starts grounding and pounding, as Shields tries to tie him up and hold him close, not giving him room to work. But Maia lands some flush right hands to Shields’ face, stands up and lands a few shots to the body before Shields regains his feet, clinched and pressing Maia on the fence. But Maia quickly reverses position and again takes Shields to the mat. Shields gets up, but Maia takes his back. Shields slips Maia’s grasp and plants the Brazilian back down on the mat, working from inside Maia’s guard. Shields tries to pass, but Maia is keeping him close and peppering him with punches from his back. Shields, meanwhile, is working Maia’s body with punches, trying to create some space to do some real damage. MMAWeekly.com scores round one 10-9 for Maia.
Round 2: Shields comes out kicking, landing a leg kick and then going high. Shields then goes for a takeodwn, doesn’t get it, and Maia reverses and tries to take Shields down, but Shields reverses and hits the takedown, immediately going to work from Maia’s half guard. Maia quickly gains full guard, while Shields launches some short elbows, landing to Maia’s face. Shields moves back into half guard, landing punches, and trying to create an opening. Maia keeps moving, trying to escape or reverse, but Shields stays glued to him, not letting Maia escape, although the referee warns them for a lack of action. Shields lands a couple punches and elbows, doing just enough to keep the fight on the mat. Shields keeps grinding, keeping Maia on his back to the end of the round. MMAWeekly.com scores round two 10-9 for Shields.
Round 3: Neither fighter is quick to engage at the start of round three, although Shields is trying to get his jab going and lands a couple leg kicks. Maia is swinging with big punches, but not landing. They end up clinched on the fence again, Maia trying to secure a takedown. He trips Shields, but Shields uses a whizzer to counter the takedown. They return to their feet where Shields lands some hard punches, but Maia answers with a few of his own and then takes Shields down. He takes Shields’ back, but Shields immediately reverses and passes to half guard and starts dropping punches and hammerfists. Shields keeps grinding away, while Maia is trying to find an escape route, but can’t get out from under the former Strikeforce champion. MMAWeekly.com scores round three 10-9 for Shields.
Round 4: Maia lands a right hand to start round four. Shields drives forward into Maia, trying to score a single-leg, but Maia blocks it, gets the underhooks and presses Shields to the fence. Shields reverses, but they stall out on the fence and the referee restarts them at the center of the cage. Shields lands kick to the head and sticks a jab in Maia’s face, shoots for a single, but Maia sprawls it out. Shields shoots the single again, doesn’t get it, but this time falls to his back, putting Maia in his full guard. Maia starts pounding away, mixing punches to the body and head of Shields. Shields clasps his arma around Maia, trying to tie him up, does, and gets a restart. They trade strikes to the horn, neither man landing anything of significance. MMAWeekly.com scores round four 10-9 for Maia.
Round 5: Shields immediately goes high with the right kick, twice, but both are blocked. He gets his jab going, but not landing with much authority. Shields shoots, but Maia sprawls it out, and they return to trading punches, neither man looking sharp, the gas gauge reading low on both. Shields shoots for a single-leg, switches to a double, but Maia again blocks the attempt, gets his underhooks and stands Shields up midway through the final round. They separate, Maia landing a jab, but Shields landing a right high kick. Shields goes high again with the right kick, but Maia answers with a straight left punch that lands. Shields drops down and shoots again, but Maia again defends the attempt. Shields keeps after the takedown, but the referee separates them. Maia lands a straight right, Shields lands a low kick, and a body kick, Maia lands another left hand, and time runs out. MMAWeekly.com scores round five 10-9 and the fight 48-47 for Shields.
Jake Shields def. Demian Maia by Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)