UFC Fight Night 29 Bet: Demian Maia (-270) vs Jake Shields (+235)

Maia ShieldsUFC Fight Night 29 Date: October 9, 2013 Arena: Jose Correa Arena City: Barueri, Sao Paulo, Brazil Welterweight bout: Demian Maia (-270) vs Jake Shields (+235) Fight Breakdown: The main event for UFC Fight Night 29 will be a welterweight contest between two veterans of the sport that will likely determine the next contender for the title, as the Brazilian Demian Maia takes on former title challenger Jake Shields. Maia is currently the favorite in this bout at -270 ($270 to win $100), while the return on the underdog Shields is +235 ($100 to win $235) at Several Bookmakerss. DEMIAN MAIA (18-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace who has been on a tear in Ultimate Fighting Championship ever since making the drop down to the welterweight division. After finding some success at middleweight but not against the top five in the division, Maia decided to make the move to 170 and make a run at the title. He has thus far been successful, and in dominant fashion, as he made quick work of his first two opponents, Rick Story and Dong Hyun Kim, respectively, in only three minutes and 17 seconds. He followed those wins with a very dominant 15-minute performance against former title challenger Jon Fitch. With a win here against another former title challenger, Maia is looking at a shot at the title and he is prepared for it. Nothing negative to say about him in regards to the ground game, he is just an absolute beast in that department, as half of his career wins are by way of tapout. His striking was very poor not too long ago but has since improved and keeps improving. He went from being terrible on the feet to being able to hold his own. Considering how awful Shields’ stand-up is, I expect Maia to have the advantage in that department, as he heads into this bout. In fact, I think he will try to use his superior striking to beat Shields. Another part of his game Maia has improved is his cardio. He is now able to go hard for a full 15 minutes without gassing. JAKE SHIELDS (28-6-1-1 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) is coming off a split decision win over Tyron Woodley in what was a very uneventful fight, if you could even call it a fight. It consisted mostly of Shields holding Woodley against the cage and peppering him with baby punches. Shields has never been known to be a real fighter, he is a grinder. He attaches himself to his opponents and tries to grind them out, be it on the mat or against the cage. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt refers to his fighting style as “American Jiu-Jitsu” for his use of both wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Shields is not good at all when it comes to his striking, and does not seem to be improving, either. Shields owns 25 finishes in 28 career wins, but has not once finished an opponent inside the Octagon; all of his wins have been by decisions. Uneventful decisions, at that, so nobody is making noise to see him get another shot at the title. We’ve seen him gas at welterweight, but Shields generally has solid cardio. After going back and forth between middleweight and welterweight, it seems he’s made up his mind to make another run at GSP. Fight Prediction: I think Maia will have the advantage, regardless of where the fight goes. Since both fighters are dangerous on the ground, I expect most of this fight to take place on the feet, where Maia will get the better of Shields. That said, I would not be at all surprised if Maia’s gameplan is to take Shields down and be the first to submit him. Gabe’s Pick: Demian Maia by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 49-46, 50-45) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Demian Maia -270 and Maia by Dec +180

Written by Gabe Killian

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