UFC on Fuel 4 takes place on Wednesday, July 11th in San Jose, California. The Facebook prelims begin at 5:45 pm est, followed by the main card on Fuel TV at 8:00 pm est. In the main event, Mark Munoz takes on Chris Weidman, to decide who gets one step closer to a shot at Anderson Silva’s middleweight title.
Mark Munoz (12-2) vs. Chris Weidman (8-0)
This is a tough one to call, as these two fighters are very similar in almost every way, utilizing their wrestle-boxing style to maximum effect every time they step in the cage. Here’s what sets them apart from each other: Munoz hit’s harder and has more experience against tougher opponents. Weidman will have a 5 inch reach advantage, and he is also becoming more adept at submissions (thanks to Matt Serra). Although this is pretty much a coin-flip fight, there are a few x-factors to consider… Munoz is coming off a brutal elbow injury, undergoing surgery just 6 months ago, and he is also returning to the octagon after the longest layoff of his career. Also worth noting, both of Munoz losses have come against fellow wrestlers who stopped him from getting to his comfort zone (the top position). Weidman has been looking better and better with every fight, not only remaining undefeated, but winning with less than 2 weeks notice in his last 2 fights. It’s nowhere near being a lock, but I see Weidman keeping the fight standing and making good use of his long reach against the hard-hitting Munoz. It’s gonna be a long night, and Weidman has shown signs of fatiguing lately, but again, he was fighting on incredibly short notice. I got Weidman by decision.
Winner: Chris Weidman
James Te-Huna (14-5) vs. Joey Beltran (14-7)
Te-Huna is a powerful striker with somewhat underrated wrestling and submission skills. He won 8 of his past 9 fights, has only gone the distance once in his career, and his only loss in the UFC was against rising star Alexander Gustafsson. Beltran is also a striker, he possesses huge knockout power in his punches, but has been rather hit-and-miss lately (mostly miss). He received his walking papers from the UFC after losing 4 of his last 5 fights, but has since made the move down to light heavyweight. After a single decision win in the minor leagues, the UFC has invited him back to try his luck with the 205ers. I like Te-Huna in this fight, he is the more technical striker, and he definitely had faster hands than Beltran. If the fight ends up in the clinch or on the mat, Te-Huna should have the advantage there as well. The power of Beltran always makes him dangerous, but I think speed will beat power in this case.
Winner: James Te-Huna
Aaron Simpson (11-3) vs. Kenny Robertson (11-1)
We got a couple more wrestlers here, with Simpson being the larger of the two. Robertson is kind of timid as a striker, preferring to use his wrestling to set up strikes and submissions from the top position. What a coincidence, Simpson likes to do the same exact thing, but he’s done it successfully against tougher opponents. Simpson will be the one dictating where this fight takes place, and he’s savvy enough to avoid the submissions of Robertson. The only question about Simpson is, how he will look in there coming down from 185 pounds to make his welterweight debut? I’m betting that he manages to grind out a decision over Robertson.
Winner: Aaron Simpson
Karlos Vemola (9-2) vs. Francis Carmont (18-7)
Vemola is a former bodybuilder, turned MMA heavyweight champion in the UK. Since losing his UFC debut fight back in 2010, Vemola has whittled his body all the way down to middleweight, where he most recently submitted Mike Massenzio. Both of Vemola’s losses were by decision, and all of his wins came by either knockout or submission. Carmount is a long and rangy striker, preferring to throw one blow at a time with calculated and deliberate attacks. His technique is very sharp, and he has only gotten better since joining up with GSP at Tristar Gym in Montreal. Vemola is a very powerful individual, and he will be most dangerous early in the fight, but he has a tendency to gas out as the fight wears on. I say Carmont weathers the early storm, uses his wrestling defensively to keep the fight standing, and picks Vemola apart in the striking department.
Winner: Francis Carmont
Reminder: The fights are tomorrow night, so be sure to register your picks in time. Good luck to all.