Just a few days following the epic rematches of UFC 148, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization reloads and fires again, this time on the cable network Fuel TV with UFC on Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman. Opening Wednesday night’s televised card is NCAA Div. I wrestler TJ Dillashaw (5-1) who will battle BJJ black belt Vaughan Lee (12-7-1) as each man seeks to break the .500 mark in the UFC. Middleweights “The Terminator” Karlos Vemola (9-2) and “Limitless” Francis Carmont (18-7) will each hunt their third UFC victory followed by an anchoring bout between “A-Train” Aaron Simpson (11-3) in his 170lbs. debut and Kenny Robertson (11-1). Holding up the co-main slot is the always entertaining brawler “The Mexicutioner” Joey Beltran (14-7) pitting his iron jaw and fists of steel against hard-hitting Australian James Te Huna (14-5). The marquis bout of the evening will see two middleweight title hopefuls teeing off in a clash of ground fighting styles. Wrestling powerhouse “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (12-2) will face undefeated Jiu-Jitsu expert “All-American” Chris Weidman (8-0) with a potential shot at the middleweight crown on the line.
TJ Dillashaw vs. Vaughan Lee: The meeting between these two bantamweight grapplers is a good way to open the card. Neither man has really impressed yet in their career; Dillashaw lost his bout at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Live Finale but rebounded with a solid if unimpressive decision win in his sophomore UFC effort while Lee had a somewhat rocky career with his sole noteworthy accomplishment being a first-round submission of Japanese stand-out turned UFC three and done washout “Kid” Norifumi Yamamoto (18-6). Those points aside, the two are excellent foils for one another. Neither man has real stopping power in their strikes, but Lee has a submission game that will allow Dillashaw no mistakes and Dillashaw has a wrestling game that will allow Lee no control. Look for Dillashaw to play it safe and escape a few hairy situations before having the judges raise his hand for the third time in his career. Dillashaw via Unanimous Decision
Karlos Vemola vs. Francis Carmont: It’s testing time for the latest prospect from the quietly rising Tri-Star Gym of Montreal. Francis Carmont has pieced together a seven-fight win streak capped with two UFC victories and now he faces a former CFC champ who has proven a solid gatekeeper at middleweight. London Shootfighter’s “The Terminator” Vemola entered the UFC undefeated and has since alternated between dropping decisions and finishing fights against the lower level journeymen within the promotion. Each man has displayed solid finishing power with 14 submissions and ten KO/TKOs in their combined 27 wins. Where the issue arises for Vemola is his inability to defeat an opponent who breaches the halfway point of the fight. His style relies heavily on his prodigious strength, something that fades quickly as the fight wears on. Against the Tri-Star product, this will likely cost him a third decision loss. Carmont via Unanimous Decision
Aaron Simpson vs. Kenny Robertson: Though “A-Train” has suffered multiple setbacks in his UFC career, he has proven a very dangerous test for even the more talented fighters of the UFC middleweight division due to his speed, stamina, and wrestling abilities. Against him this time is a vicious young submission fighter who stumbled in his UFC debut, but came back strong with a spinning backfist KO in his second bout. Robertson will be put in a very precarious situation against the Arizona based wrestler. Robertson has made his career utilizing a highly aggressive and rudimentary submission game. This has served him well at lower levels, but when faced with a wrestler the caliber of Simpson, it won’t likely hold much water. What his aggression will give him is a fighting chance to land big on the slow starting “A-Train” early in the fight. However, it is far more likely that Simpson will grind out another win over another hopeful journeyman. Simpson via Unanimous Decision
James Te Huna vs. Joey Beltran: After a drop to light heavyweight and a decision win outside the Octagon, Joey Beltran has returned to put the immovable object that is his iron jaw squarely in the path of the unstoppable force that is James Te Huna’s kickboxing. As if to make-up for a card filled with less than casual fan friendly wrestlers, the UFC has chosen to support the main event with a pair of brawling knockout artists who have no intentions of fighting defensively or seeking a top control heavy ground battle. The advantage, however, belongs to Te Huna. The New Zealand born kickboxer is more athletic and refined than Beltran and though it is highly unlikely that Te Huna will successfully penetrate the concrete barrier built around “The Mexicutioner’s “ consciousness, he should be able to batter his way to a three round nod. Te Huna via Unanimous Decision
Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman: Two middleweights destined to face “The Spider” Anderson Silva (32-4) one day will meet in the UFC on Fuel TV 4 main event. Powerhouse wrestler and ground-and-pound finishing machine Mark Munoz has pulverized seven of his nine UFC opponents and is sitting pretty on a four-fight winning streak with six TKOs to his credit. Weidman is thus far undefeated and has submitted two of his four UFC opponents. Both men hold recent, lopsided decision wins over BJJ prodigy Demian Maia (16-4). Where the match breaks down is in a power vs. finesse debate. Weidman’s slick Jiu-Jitsu, coupled with solid technical wrestling, makes him a threat from the first to final bell and allows him to exploit the smallest mistakes. Munoz’s power makes him deadly on the feet and even more of a finishing threat when his ripping single-leg or power double puts an opponent on his back. If Weidman can outfox Munoz on the mat, he has a chance – albeit not a very good chance. Munoz has lost only twice, once to a fluke head kick and once to a man who was able to out-muscle him and beat him at his own game. Expect “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” to pile drive Weidman to the mat and finish him there, giving the undefeated ace just a brief window to work his magic. Munoz via TKO (Strikes), Round 1