Two powerful European middleweights will meet for the first time this Wednesday night when Czech Republic's Karlos Vemola takes on French striker Francis Carmont on the UFC on FUEL TV 4 main card in San Jose, California.
Karlos Vemola has had a very up and down career thus far in the UFC and has dropped from a heavyweight all the way down to 185 pounds since signing on with the promotion. His middleweight debut was a success just a few months ago and while the bout was close, "The Terminator" wants to prove his win wasn't a fluke.
Francis Carmont has put it all together since signing up with Georges St. Pierre at Tristar Gym in Montreal. The kickboxer has some serious skill and improved his UFC record to 2-0 at the UFC on Fuel TV event in Stockhold earlier this year and has looked dominant against both of his opponents thus far.
Will Vemola be able to "Terminate" Carmont with wrestling and ground and pound? Can Carmont weather the early storm and put Vemola down as the fight wears on? What's the key to victory for both men tomorrow night?
Let's find out:
Record: 9-2 overall, 2-2 in the UFC
How he got here: Karlos Vemola got his start in wrestling, where he advanced all the way to be a six-time Czech wrestling champion. "The Terminator" also was a bodybuilder before making the transition to mixed martial arts.
Once he began fighting professionally, he dominated. He won the Cage Fighters Championship's heavyweight title in his mixed martial arts debut and followed that up with five straight title defenses over the course of just over one year.
Vemola would make his UFC debut as a heavyweight against The Ultimate Fighter season 10 prospect Jon Madsen and would be thoroughly dominated by the bigger, stronger fighter, losing a decision.
The Czech native reinvented himself as a light heavyweight, returning at UFC 122 and pounding the tar out of Seth Petruzelli but he could not sustain himself in the division, losing a tough decision to Ronny Markes late last year.
Again, Vemola decided to drop another weight class, this time to middleweight where he met New Jersey native Mike Massenzio. After handily losing the first round, Vemola took over in the second, scoring a rear naked choke victory despite not even having his hooks in.
Now, he'll be facing a legitimately top prospect our of the Tristar gym in Montreal.
How he gets it done: Vemola would be wise to really push the pace early, perhaps with intentions of scoring a first round stoppage. He is extremely strong and might be able to shift Carmont around if given the opportunity.
The Czech wrestler still has some skills in terms of getting the fight to the ground, even if they didn't look so hot against Markes, and he's also very resilient. He overcame a rough patch in the first round against Massenzio before coming back and finishing the American with a hookless rear naked choke.
Vemola's biggest weapon has to be his power on the ground. Yes, he's facing a guy who's more or less his size on the feet, but Vemola is just downright a monster on the canvas if he can get on top and drop punches.
Record: 18-7 overall, 2-0 in the UFC
How he got here: Francis Carmont was toiling away on the local circuit from 2006 to 2009 and at one point went through a 15 fight stretch in which he only won just over half his fights. He put it all together starting in 2008, but he didn't officially start thrashing people until 2009.
He also began working with Firas Zahabi out of Tristar Gym and began to showcase considerable improvement. This opened up the doors for a run in the UFC and when the promotion came calling,
In his last fight, Magnus Sedanblod pushed a pace but faded quickly and Carmont completely took over, smashing the fellow European after some entertaining scrambles. He's now 2-0 in the division since joining the promotion and he'd like to keep it that way.
How he gets it done: Carmont can hurt his opponents in multiple situations but the best looking scenario for him involves either the clinch or if he stay in the pocket and lay into Vemola with punches and kicks..
It took a while, but Carmont finally put it all together and really started beating everyone in his way up. Whether you were standing or on the ground, Carmont had a surprise for you.
Carmont's best plan of action would be to outlast Vemola. The French fighter looked great against some tough oppositiion and it would be interesting to see how his cardio holds up especially now that his opponent is in his third weight division since joining the UFC.
Fight X-Factor: The biggest X-Factor for this bout is discipline. Karlos Vemola has looked pretty good against opponents who were unprepared for what he brought to the table, but when he faced someone with superior wrestling, conditioning or worse, he was capable of completely falling apart.
Vemola swears he's doing better now, but that still scares me and Carmont trains in a much more respected team at Tristar in Canada alongside Georges St. Pierre.
Bottom Line: If Vemola's conditioning holds up, this has potential to be an interesting fight but in all honesty, it could get really ugly if it goes past the first round. Vemola fell apart against Madsen and Markes and I can definitely see the same thing happening against a solid and well-prepared fighter like Carmont.This fight could be anything, especially if Vemola comes out swinging quickly looking for a first round finish.
Who will come out on top at UFC on FUEL TV 4? Tell us your predictions in the comments below!