Zuffa fired the second round of its three-event week of MMA last night as UFC on Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman hit the airwaves. Rafael dos Anjos (17-6) and The Assassin” Anthony Njokuani (15-7) opened the night with a light paced striking match. The card continued with a fast and furious affair between TJ Dillashaw (6-1) and Vaughan Lee (12-8) that ended with the Ultimate Fighter finalist locking in a nasty neck crank. Next out Tri-Star Gym stand-out “Limitless” Francis Carmont (19-7) out-grappled “The Terminator” Karlos Vemola (9-3). The middleweights came in next as “A-Train” Aaron Simpson (12-3) out-wrestled Kenny Robertson (11-2) in a three-round decision. The co-main event saw James Te Huna (15-5) win what began as a one-sided striking clinic and ended as an all out war over “The Mexicutioner” Joey Beltran (14-8), and “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (12-3) saw his middleweight title dreams put on hold once again as “All American” Chris Weidman (9-0) remained undefeated with a stunning second-round TKO.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Anthony Njokuani: The night’s opening battle saw a grinding game of trading licks turn into a takedown clinic. Dos Anjos and Njokuani started the match trading mugging punches, leg kicks, and inside knees against the feet. The Brazilian learned quickly that he may be the better standing fighter but his road to victory was on the mat. Njokuani continued to attempt to exchange on the feet and dos Anjos responded by repeatedly slamming Njokuani to the mat. Unfortunately for the fans, the Brazilian was unable to keep him down and ended up winning a three-round decision with repeated single-legs. dos Anjos via Unanimous Decision
TJ Dillashaw vs. Vaughan Lee: This bantamweight match-up was brief and explosive. Dillashaw came swinging out of the gate before shooting under a high kick from Lee. The pair grappled back to their feet, but the Englishman was unable to detach the NCAA wrestling standout from his back. When Dillashaw dragged Lee back to the mat, it was the beginning of the end. Lee vainly struggled to dislodge the Ultimate Fighter finalist, but in the end, succumbed to a Rear Naked Choke turned Neck Crank at the halfway point of the round. Dillashaw via Submission (Neck Crank), Round 2
Karlos Vemola vs. Francis Carmont: The first round of the welterweight affair was a high octane grappling exchange that, while back-and-forth, clearly showed the Canadian fighter to have the superior skills on the ground. Vemola got the first takedown, but did little with it and was unable to prevent the reversal. Carmont passed to side control and then the mount before threatening with a Kimura. Vemola threatened late in the round with a Guillotine, but it was too little too late and the bell brought in a second frame. During the second, Vemola again secured the takedown and passed, but was unable to do much with the position. When Carmont returned fire after a return to the feet, it was with a beautiful single-leg that rolled directly into a crucifix. From there, the Canadian took full control of the back and finished “The Terminator” with a Rear Naked Choke. Carmont via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 2
Aaron Simpson vs. Kenny Robertson: The three-round affair between Simpson and Roberston was a textbook example of the difference between the talent level of an average UFC fighter and a dominant fighter outside the Octagon. Robertson has never lost a bout outside the UFC and has finished all but one of his defeated opponents. However, Aaron Simpson, who has long struggled to break into the UFC middleweight upper echelons and consequently made his move to 170lbs., was clearly more than the young journeyman could handle. They traded briefly on the feet with Robertson getting the better of the exchanges. From there, “A-Train” promptly switched gears and turned the fight into a technical wrestling clinic, starting with a lesson in high pressure clinch work. Simpson would go on to repeatedly tie up his opponent and score takedowns when the opportunities arose. He then peppered Robertson with light ground-and-pound and low risk submission attempts until the end of the match where the Arizona wrestler saw his hand raised. Simpson via Unanimous Decision
James Te Huna vs. Joey Beltran: The “Fight if the Night” winning slugfest put on by the iron chinned “Mexicutioner” and James Te Huna started as a one-sided striking clinic. Te Huna landed right hands and uppercuts at will and rocked the legendarily durable brawler numerous times in the first. Then, in the second, the New Zealander’s punches began to lose power and Beltran found a home for his jab. All of a sudden, the fans had a fight on their hands. The fight still favored Te Huna’s more crisp, technical striking heavily as he avoided the majority of Beltran’s attacks, but “The Mexicutioner” still managed to blast him with 80 significant blows. After well over 100 significant strikes of his own, the waning Te Huna began to hunt, and find single-leg takedowns almost at will and achieved an impressive victory, but failed to become the second man to knock out the hardened brawler. Te Huna via Unanimous Decision
Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman: “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” was on the short list for a title shot and was set to prove himself by testing the dangerous and undefeated blue chipper Chris Weidman. It was billed as a very even match, though most expected it to be Weidman getting his first taste of a truly elite middleweight. Weidman took more than a taste. In the first, Weidman outworked and more impressively, out-wrestled Munoz. He took several dominant positions and did damage steadily throughout the round. To continue the complete role reversal, he remained undefeated by throwing a perfectly-timed standing elbow strike that sent Munoz crashing to the mat early in the second frame. The following barrage on the ground was simply a formality as “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” was in no state to recover. Luckily, a very late stoppage didn’t result in any more damage than the loss on his record. Weidman via TKO (Strikes), Round 2
Click here for a complete list of UFC on Fuel TV 4 results.