UFC on Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman Review – Almost Ready For Anderson
A review of UFC on Fuel TV 4, featuring an awesome performance in the main event and a bunch of other fights that no one cared about.
Chris Weidman def. Mark Munoz: I knew Weidman was good and have had high hopes for him since his first UFC fight, but holy hell did he blow me away with his performance. He easily took down Munoz in the first round and then used outstanding head control to threaten a number of times with a guillotine or d’arce choke. Munoz showed good submission defense, but the way Weidman out-positioned him in round one had to be absolutely demoralizing. In the second round, Weidman got another easy takedown, but Munoz was able to get up. On the feet, Munoz threw a wild overhand right and got caught with a counter elbow that sliced Munoz open and knocked him down. A couple of punches on the ground, and then 500 more unnecessary punches as the ref was extremely late stopping the fight, and the bout was over. This was a statement win for Weidman, and while he likely won’t get a title shot off it, he definitely put the rest of the division on notice. Even though Weidman vs. Anderson Silva would be a competitive fight, it wouldn’t do well on PPV, and UFC is also a business. They can’t be wasting Silva on fights against unknowns like Weidman. And sorry, main eventing on Fuel TV doesn’t make you anymore known after stinking up the joint on FOX doesn’t make you anymore known. That said, if Weidman faces and beats someone like Michael Bisping or Hector Lombard on a big stage, I’d be all for Weidman vs. Silva. Basically I just want to see Weidman have one more impressive performance in the co-main event of a PPV or FOX against a top fighter before I’m ready to see him challenge Silva. This was a tough loss for Munoz, and one that could put him at a gatekeeper level for the time being. He’s only other loss at middleweight was to Yushin Okami, who went on to challenge for the title. Munoz is a good wrestler with some of the most vicious ground and pound in the sport, but otherwise he’s an extremely flawed fighter.
James Te-Huna def. Joey Beltran: This was your typical Beltran fight, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, unless you’re Beltran. Te-Huna just out-struck Beltran for 15-minutes and put an absolute beating on him, especially in the first round, where he nearly finished Beltran. To Beltran’s credit, he survived, but it did him no good as he continued to get punched in the face. Te-Huna looked fine in this fight, and I won’t fault him for not being able to finish a very tough opponent, but his cardio definitely needs work moving forward. His ground game is also a bit of a mystery and he was taken down by Beltran in the third round. Maybe Te-Huna will get his fight against Brandon Vera after Vera loses to “Shogun” Rua in a couple of weeks. As for Beltran, he’s not good enough to beat like anyone, but he’s entertaining enough to keep getting called back for another beating.
Aaron Simpson def. Kenny Robertson: Simpson won via doing Simpson things. He wasn’t doing all that great on the feet, so he just took down Robertson at will, controlled him, and stayed busy enough to inflict some damage and not get stood up. He didn’t gas in his welterweight debut, so that was nice, but it’s not like Robertson was any real competition. So the fact that Simpson couldn’t finish him probably says something. At least Simpson realized that he needs to finish fights and make improvements, but at age 37, time is not on his side. Plus 170 is filled with a lot of talented wrestlers who Simpson won’t be able to bully around like he did Robertson.
Francis Carmont def. Karlos Vemola: I guess Vemola will be dropping to welterweight following this loss. As easy as it would be to bash Vemola for his performance, Carmont looked really good in victory. He didn’t get to show off much of his striking but his grappling looked really good, especially his transitions. The finishing sequence were he went from using a kimura to defend a takedown, to a back crucifix, to a rear naked choke was a thing of beauty. Even in the first round, after fending off some stupid guillotine attempts from Vemola, he did well to improve his position and look for the finish. In his short UFC run, I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Carmont. Granted his competition level hasn’t been all that great, but he’s making the most of his opportunities. He called out the best in the division following his win, and while he’s definitely not ready for Anderson Silva, he could definitely use a step up in competition. Maybe he faces someone like Tom Lawlor, who is coming off a big win and is relatively well-known. And if Vemola cuts to welterweight for his next bout, I want to know his weight loss secret.
TJ Dillashaw vs. Vaughan Lee: Lee was doing well on the feet and then he decided to throw a wild head kick that Dillashaw ducked under to get a takedown. It looked like Lee was going to get to his feet, but Dillashaw, like everyone at Team Alpha Male, scrambled well and got the back. Lee managed to get to his feet, but DIllashaw stayed on his back and actually finished the rear naked choke this time around. Dillashaw’s striking still needs plenty of work, but he’s a top-notch wrestler and his offensive grappling can only improve given the camp that he’s at. 135 isn’t an extremely deep division, at least not at the top, so if Dillashaw can string another few wins together, he’ll be right there in the mix. Maybe he faces Mike Easton next, since he’s coming off a win last week and has put together a nice UFC record but hasn’t looked overly impressive in his last two bouts.
Rafael dos Anjos def. Anthony Njokuani: This fight was pretty much as most expected, just without the finish. Anjos held his own in the striking department, even rocking Njokuani in the first round with a left hand, but when Njokuani could get his distance he did a nice job using his jab and kicks to break down Anjos. Of course all that was for not as he still can’t stop a takedown. I’ll give Njokuani some credit as his defensive wrestling looks to be a bit improved, albeit against a guy with limited wrestling experience, and he limited the damage he took on the ground, but the guy still can’t do anything against superior grapplers. If Njokuani could only be paired up against strikers, he could probably have a nice little career, but there are way too many excellent grapplers in the lightweight division for Njokuani to achieve anything in the UFC without some major improvements. Anjos continues to string together a nice run, but at 155 it’s so hard to crack the elite without that big name victory or multiple wins in a short amount of time and Anjos still lacks doesn’t have that big win and is usually on the prelims. Maybe he’ll get a top level opponent in his next fight, because he definitely has the talent to compete with the top guys, he just needs the opportunity.