Former WEC fighter Chael Sonnen will be making his UFC debut against Damian Maia at UFC 95. Sonnen was promoted to the UFC after the WEC, the sister company of the UFC, decided to eliminate their middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.
Sonnen left the organization unofficially as their middleweight champion, as he defeated champion Paulo Filho in his last WEC bout. However, due to Filho’s inability to make the required 185-pound weight limit, the bout turned into a non-title affair.
Regardless, Filho and his corner stated that they would hand over the belt out of respect to Sonnen. There has not been confirmation if they have done so.
Sonnen has won seven of his last eight bouts, and is one of the division’s fastest rising stars. He will bring much needed depth to the UFC’s weakest division.
Maia still holds a perfect 9-0 professional record, and is on the brink of earning himself a title shot. Although the majority of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu wizard’s wins have come via submission, he has done a remarkable job transitioning to the MMA game.
UFC 95 will be taking place at the O2 Arena in London, England on February 21st.