Demian Maia looks to land on Chris Weidman - Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com
The UFC is rapidly filling their stacked summer lineup and just this afternoon, announced two additional fights for their July 7th UFC 148 card in Las Vegas. Demian Maia will make his welterweight debut against the always-tough, Dong Hyun Kim, while power punching middleweight Constantinos Philippou will face rugged Japanese fighter, Riki Fukuda. UFC.com confirmed the bookings:
Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Demian Maia will drop to welterweight and be welcomed by the super-tough 15-1 Korean judo expert Dong Hyun Kim.
Plus, heavy-hitting middleweights Riki Fukuda and Costa Philippou will clash. The Japanese Fukuda scored a decision win last month at UFC 144; Cyprus-born, Long-Island based Philippou accomplished the same a week later at UFC on FX.
Maia had long been mulling a drop down to 170 lbs. after some uninspiring performance in recent bouts. He'll certainly have his hands full with the judoka, Kim, who's shown excellent submission defense in previous fights against the likes of Nate Diaz, and will be happy to put his judo to the test against the BJJ of Maia, although given Maia's preference to strike recently, it'll be interesting to see who looks to take it to the ground first.
The Cyprus-born, Ray Longo and Matt Serra-trained Philippou has started to attract a lot of attention recently while showing off his heavy hands and technical boxing in the midst of a three-fight winning streak, including a recent unanimous decision win over Court McGee, which handed the TUF Season 11 champion his first loss inside the Octagon. Fukuda rebounded from a controversial loss to Nick Ring in his UFC debut by outpointing Steve Cantwell at UFC 144 in Japan last month. The Japanese brawler will be taking a sizable step up in competition now and will have find a way to avoid the knockout power of Philippou.