While they won't be medaling in the ADCCs anytime soon, both middleweights Francis Carmont and Karlos Vemola put on an entertaining grappling battle last night (July 11, 2012) on the UFC on Fuel TV 4 main card in San Jose, California.
Vemola entered the bout with much higher wrestling credentials, having been a six time Czech national wrestling champion, but it was Carmont who repeatedly scored sweeps, reversals and would find himself in top position throughout the contest.
Eventually, Carmont would make waves with his incredible transition from fending off a takedown attempt along the fence by moving into a crucifix on the ground which would set up the fight-ending submission.
So how in the world did Carmont outgrapple the grappler? What what happens next for both middleweights?
Early on, Carmont had to play defense as Vemola aggressively clinched and looked for takedowns. Carmont, who trains with Georges St. Pierre at the Tristar Gym in Montreal did a great job of fending them off and actually taking top position whenever Vemola got too aggressive shooting in.
What really hurt Vemola in the first round was his refusal to release a guillotine choke. It was obvious after the first 15 seconds that he wasn't going to tap out the French fighter but he kept hanging on to it for about a minute and likely gassed out his arms.
Carmont aggressively attacked on the ground, looking for an Americana once he gained top position but he couldn't secure the correct arm positioning to pull it off and Vemola showcased some pretty solid defensive skills by scrambling free of the hold.
By the second round, however, Vemola was definitely in trouble. Carmont opened the frame by smashing him in the chin with a beautiful front kick which the Czech fighter surprisingly walked through.
Vemola pressed the action looking for a takedown and changing levels against the fence but Carmont bent forward, wrapped up one of Vemola's arms with his legs and then fell to the canvas in the crucifix position. It was an absolutely incredible transition, something fans were raving about immediately following the bout.
This position caught Vemola completely off guard and Carmont quickly attacked his exposed next, eventually sinking in a fight-ending rear naked choke.
For Karlos Vemola, while he showcased some improvements in his ground game, he's still incredibly raw. He's not much of a stand-up fighter at this point and despite his credentials, his takedowns still need some work. That being said, he had some fun scrambles on the ground and up until the end of the fight, he was doing a pretty good job of avoiding taking big damage or staying in precarious positions for extended periods of time.
For Francis Carmont, this was an incredibly solid performance and he just gets better every time we've seen him. While he was advertised as a strong striker, it's been his grappling which have won him his last two fights. His transitions and ability to repeatedly find himself in advantageous positions on the ground left a very strong impression. And despite almost all of the fight taking place in the grappling realm, he still nearly stole the show with an incredible front kick to Vemola's chin. I can't wait to see more of this guy.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you impressed by the performance of Carmont, especially that insane transition to end the fight? Does this guy have potential to be a future contender?