Photo by Tracy Lee for Y! Sports
It wasn't pretty, but Demian Maia repeatedly took down Jorge Santiago and controlled him from the top to take an unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Maia and Santiago didn't light the crowd on fire with their performance however. Santiago's suspect takedown defense and non-existent sprawl hurt him in the long run, allowing Maia to consistently take down the Sengoku veteran in every round. It also wasn't clear who was the winner in the stand-up game, which is surprising considering Santiago's history of violence.
Maia entered tonight's contest following an unanimous decision loss to Mark Munoz at UFC 131 in June. He had previously defeated Kendall Grove and Mario Miranda via unanimous decision after losing by decision to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 112 in April of last year.
Santiago was signed by the UFC in February, making his return after five years away from the promotion. He lost in his debut at UFC 130 to Brian Stann by knockout. The loss ended a two-fight win streak that included a decision win over Mamed Khalidov and a 'Fight of the Year' performance against Kazuo Misaki.