(Courtesy of UFC)
The UFC Fight Night 129 card slated for Saturday in Chile is topped by a showdown between top welterweights Demian Maia and Kamaru Usman, who squared off on Thursday at the media day in Santiago.
The fight card was initially slated to feature Usman squaring off with fellow rising star Santiago Ponzinibbio, but the Argentinian fighter had to withdraw because of an injury. The UFC Fight Night 129 headliner did not suffer any drop-off, however, as former welterweight title challenger Maia – who currently sits at No. 7 in the Welterweight Top 10 Rankings – agreed to step in.
A light heavyweight battle between former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and rising contender Volkan Oezdemir was supposed to occupy the co-main event slot. Issues surrounding travel because of an ongoing Oezdemir legal issue, however, necessitated the move of that bout to the UFC Fight Night 134 fight card slated for July in Hamburg, Germany.
In its absence, a pivotal strawweight bout between Alexa Grosso and Tatiana Suarez has moved into the co-headlining spot. The winner promises to make a move up the Top 10 Rankings and edge closer to title contention.
Tune-in to MMAWeekly.com on Saturday for full UFC Fight Night 129: Maia vs. Usman Live Results and Fight Stats. The first bout is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT.