Round 1 - It's our final preliminary bout. Referee Jacob Montalvo in the cage. Maia pawing jabs to find range. Santiago kicks and moves in with an overhand, but Maia controls the clinch and pushes in against the cage. Can't get it down, and he backs away. Santiago kicking to the body and looking for a bog punch. He lands a straight right, but Maia ducks in and pushes the action to the floor. Maia trying to pass, but Santiago kicks him up and away and returns to the feet. Knees traded inside. Halfway into the round, and Maia breaks away. Santiago misses with a kick over the top, and Maia clips him with a few punches. Santiago tries to leap in with a knee, but Maia catches the move and wrestles him to the floor. Still, Santiago does an excellent job of holding guard. Maia postures and lands a punch, but Santiago rattles off upkicks. Maia going to finish the round in top position, and MMAjunkie.com gives him the round based on the takedowns, but Santiago holding tough.
Round 2 - Santiago kicks high twice to open then goes down low. Maia still pawing that jab, and Santiago kicks the body. Santiago backing away at Maia advances, and neither fighter really connecting with anything flush. Maia misses an overhand, and Santiago does counter, but a follow-up kick is blocked. Santiago does land a clean right, but Maia recovers and ducks under, bringing the action down. Santiago still using his guard well and preventing a pass. Maia gets in a left hand and sets up on top. Less than two minutes. Not a lot happening as the two work hard for position, but it's enough that Montalvo lets them fight, and rightfully so. Crowd restless, but Maia is doing enough to remain on the floor. Still, he's done very little to pass Santiago's impressive defense. Still, MMAjunkie.com going to lean toward Maia, 10-9, in the slow-paced round.
Round 3 - Santiago stalks early, and Maia looks immediately to duck under. Nothing there. Santiago scampers away and looks to strike. BUt he's not pressing enough to really score points. Santiago just misses a right over the top. Inside kicks from Maia. He shoots in and Santiago turns to defend. Maia considers jumping the back but settles for the controlling bodylock. Crowd doesn't like it, but it eventually nets Maia a takedown. He's got half-mount and lands an elbow up top. Santiago wraps the body, but he's too comfortable on his back right now. Maia stands to pass, but Santiago is doing very well to prevent that. Can't say enough for Santiago's guard defense, but that is not going to win you fights, unfortunately. Maia finally does work free, and he goes to north-south. That turns into side mount, but as he looks to step over, Santiago regains half. Maia pummels in the closing seconds, and that's the fight. Crowd hates it, but MMAjunkie.com gives the final round to Maia, 10-9, giving him the fights 30-27. Demian Maia def. Jorge Santiago via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).