A preview of UFC on Fuel TV 4, which features a nice main event and a bunch of other fights that no one knew existed.
Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman: I like this fight. I’m not buying the hype of “the winner could face Anderson Silva” but I still like this fight. In fairness to Munoz, he’s racked up some good victories at middleweight and could be on the verge of a title shot, if not for the fact that no one wants to see Silva face him. Weidman on the other hand, isn’t close to a title shot, even if he wins this fight. Weidman’s striking isn’t as bad as it looked against Demain Maia, but it’s also not great either. Munoz isn’t much of a striker himself, but he does hit really hard. There are a lot of questions about Munoz’s chin, and while it’s not good, he at least recovers pretty well when he is rocked. Munoz’s real strength is on the ground. His wrestling is a bit overhyped, but his ground and pound is not. He doesn’t set up his takedowns well or anything, but he’s such a power wrestler that he still manages to complete them. And once he has his opponent down, he only needs a split second to unleash his powerful fists. Weidman is a good wrestler in his own right though, as long as he’s not dead tired. Weidman also has solid offensive grappling and top control. He’s good in the scrambles and is positionally aware. If Munoz only gets half takedowns or Weidman is able to sprawl, he could easily initiate a scramble and end up with a dominant position. Since this fight is 25-minutes, one has to wonder about Weidman’s cardio. He gassed extremely quick in his last fight, and even though that was a short notice fight, it was still pretty worrying how bad his cardio was. Munoz seems to have pretty good cardio so the longer the fight goes, the more I’d favor Munoz. While I think Weidman has a bright future, Munoz appears to be on the top of his game right now and this seems like too much of a step up for Weidman. All Munoz needs is one takedown in the first round and that could decide the entire fight, even if he doesn’t finish it right there because if he gets the takedown, you know he’s going to damage Weidman, and that could shake Weidman enough to where he can’t recover mentally or psychically. I think Munoz eventually gets that takedown, and once he does, it’ll be the beginning of the end.
Prediction: Munoz, TKO, Round 3
James Te-Huna vs. Joey Beltran: After being released by the UFC, Beltran is back and now at 205, which obviously means he’s going to be 100 times better even though he’s nothing more than a tough guy who hits hard. Te-Huna is the superior fighter on all levels and hits hard in his own right, so as long as he avoids getting into a brawl with Beltran, he should take this fight pretty easily. If he really wants to make it easy on himself, he’ll put Beltran on his back and rough him up with ground and pound. Either way, Te-Huna should shouldn’t have much trouble against Beltran.
Prediction: Te-Huna, TKO, Round 1
Aaron Simpson vs. Kenny Robertson: Top prospect Simpson was supposed to make his welterweight debut against Jon Fitch, but is instead stuck facing Robertson in a fight that no one cares about. Robertson has good jiu-jitsu, but that’s about it and it’s not like he’ll be able to takedown Simpson. If Simpson decides to takedown Robertson, he’ll have to aware of Robertson’s guard, but I don’t think it’s good enough to pull off a submission against a pretty aware Simpson. Chances are Simpson will just keep this fight standing and look for the knockout since he does have pretty good power, is a deceptively good athlete, and Robertson has no stand up. Or maybe we’ll be lucky enough to watch Simpson grind Robertson against the cage for 15-minutes en route to another boring decision.
Prediction: Simpson, TKO, Round 2
Karlos Vemola vs. Francis Carmont: Vemola debuted in the UFC as a heavyweight, lost and dropped to light heavyweight. He won once as light heavyweight, lost, and is now at middleweight. He won his middleweight debut but if he loses this fight, watch out welterweight division. I actually think Vemola is a pretty talented guy but his cardio isn’t great. Carmont is relatively well-rounded, but his wrestling is pretty pedestrian and that’s where Vemola will likely shine in this fight. Being a Czech National Wrestling Champion doesn’t mean much against an American, but that’s like being a five time Olympic champion when you’re facing a Frenchman. I expect Vemola to get a takedown and beat up Carmont until he quits.
Prediction: Vemola, TKO, Round 1
TJ Dillashaw vs. Vaughan Lee: Dillashaw is one of the best wrestlers in the division and Lee is British. That’s pretty much all you need to know about this fight. Lee is a jiu-jitsu black belt and his submission against “Kid” Yamamoto was pretty sweet, but that was an extremely washed up “Kid” and not an entering his prime Dillashaw. If Dillashaw wants to, he could probably keep the fight standing and get the better of Lee and if things go wrong on the feet, then shoot for the takedown. In fact, I think he will do that since these Alpha Male guys like to work on their striking during fights against inferior opponents that they know they can takedown at will. It might not be the most exciting fight in the world, but it should be a shutout for Dillashaw.
Prediction: Dillashaw, Decision
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Anthony Njokuani: I really like this fight. Njokuani is a treat to watch on the feet while Anjos is a tough test for any fighter. If Anjos decides to stand with Njokuani, despite his power, he could be in a lot of trouble because he does get hit a lot and Njokuani has the power to turn his lights out. That said, if Anjos wants to make things easy on himself, he could just plant Njokuani on the ground and submit him. Even though he’s been in the sport for years, Njokuani’s takedown defense is still pretty bad and I’m not sure he has any submission defense. I’ll go with Anjos because his way to victory is easier than Njokuani’s but this fight could go either way and could be very competitive if it stays on the feet or Njokuani has improved his takedown defense.
Prediction: Dos Anjos, Submission, Round 1