It’s just been announced that Georges St-Pierre and Demian Maia will battle it out in an epic grappling match at UFC Fight Pass Invitational 6 on December 14th, 2023. It’s a great matchup between two legendary UFC fighters and elite grapplers, while also being an interesting stylistic matchup at the same time. The promotion originally announced that St-Pierre would be making his return to professional grappling at the event, but they kept tight-lipped on who would be welcoming him back on the mats. This sent fans crazy of course, and not just because it would be the first time that fans got to see him in action in over 6 years.
There were dozens of possible opponents for St-Pierre and undoubtedly any one of them would be willing to face one of the biggest figures in MMA history. Between fellow MMA superstars and top professional grapplers of both the past and present, there was no shortage of competitors who would gladly take the match. St-Pierre even broke down the odds of him facing several different potential opponents himself in fact. Curiously, Maia was actually absent from the list of prospective opponents that he discussed. He did mention that the list he was given was far more extensive though so it’s possible that either Maia slipped his mind at the time, or he was deliberately avoiding naming his actual opponent.
While Georges St-Pierre has been absent from professional grappling since he competed at ADCC 2005, Demian Maia has been significantly more active in the sport over the last few years. He’s been taking on several different types of opponents in the last year or so, from beating fellow MMA veteran Ben Henderson by decision at Polaris 20 all the way to submitting the much-younger Sangwook Kim at Spyder BJJ: Road to Black. This really is one of the best matches that UFC Fight Pass could have made for St-Pierre’s return and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when the two men meet on the mats.
Demian Maia announced the news that he would be the one to welcome Georges St-Pierre back to professional grappling in a recent post to his official Twitter account:
Every now and then, something comes up that still does really motivate you.
Grappling @GeorgesStPierre will be a huge challenge & great motivation.
You GSP are one of the greatest competitors ever, whom I respect a lot. I’m game! Looking forward to competing at @ufc invitational.
— Demian Maia (@demianmaia) July 20, 2023