Two of the top-ranked middleweights in the UFC battled it out last night (July 11, 2012) in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 4 as undefeated New York prospect Chris Weidman took on budding contender Mark Munoz in San Jose, California.
Mark Munoz entered the fight as the number three ranked middleweight in the world and with heaps of expectations as a potential threat to Anderson Silva's reign as champion.
But someone forgot to tell Chris Weidman.
The undefeated former collegiate All-American wrestler took the fight to Munoz, never allowing "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" to get any offense in and then finishing the veteran brutally to score his first UFC stoppage via strikes.
So how in the world did Weidman dominate so strongly? And what happens next for both men?
Follow me after the jump for our Chris Weidman vs. Mark Munoz UFC on Fuel TV 4 post-fight review and analysis.
Weidman lulled Munoz into lowering his defenses early, utilizing his length to throw a few kicks. The second Munoz dropped his guard and threw a big punch in retaliation, the Serra-Longo standout shot in and took Munoz down with ease.
Munoz tried to power out of the position but Weidman was extremely strong on top, attacking with aggressive holds, head locks and the occasional submission, even nearly finishing the fight with a fantastic guillotine choke attempt which Munoz barely avoided.
Whether it was a choke or Kimura or some short elbows, Weidman completely had Munoz playing defense in the first round, much to the chagrin of the pro-Munoz San Jose crowd.
As round two started, it was more of the same as Weidman, realizing that Munoz's takedown defense wasn't going to stop him, immediately shot in and put the former national champion wrestler on his back again.
After threatening with a D'Arce choke, Weidman couldn't lock it in and Munoz exploded back to his feet where he hoped to finally take advantage of the striking game.
Surprisingly, Weidman obliged and traded with the Reign MMA fighter. When Munoz loaded up for a huge lunging right hand, the New York native caught him on the way in with one of the prettiest standing elbows you'll ever see. Munoz was completely caught off guard by the strike and went down in a heap.
Weidman followed him to the canvas and swarmed him with a massive series of right hands and referee Josh Rosenthall allowed Munoz to take about 10 shots too many before finally putting a halt to the onslaught.
For Mark Munoz, he just could not get anything going in this fight. He looked slow, his takedown defense was quickly overwhelmed and the only thing he can really take from this fight is that his submission defense is pretty solid. He did a good job of avoiding a wide range of submissions from Weidman throughout the fight but other than that, he could not stop the wrestler from dumping him on his back and when he finally did get to his feet, he threw such a big looping strike that he allowed Weidman to catch him on the way in with an elbow.
It really sucked to see him take all those extra shots as Munoz is one of the classier fighters in the game. Hopefully he'll be okay. Once he's ready to get back in the cage, He'd be an interesting opponent for Chael Sonnen if and when he returns to the Octagon. Other potential fights include the upcoming loser of Hector Lombard vs. Tim Boetsch or perhaps Michael Bisping once he recovers from his knee injury.
For Chris Weidman, this was about as dominant as a fighter can get. He was in complete control of this fight from start to finish. He neutralized Munoz's biggest weapon which is his power and didn't allow "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" to land one significant strike the entire fight. That's incredible. He also showcased some very nice (although brief) stand-up with a flashy front kick and that ridiculous elbow which put Munoz down. Weidman's finishing instincts are off the charts as he gave Munoz zero opportunity to recover.
This kid is special.
Afterwards, Weidman called out Anderson Silva and you know what? That wouldn't be a bad fight at this point especially if he continues to improve on the scale he's been improving. Other options for Weidman include Alan Belcher or Vitor Belfort. Whoever he faces, it's going to be a huge fight and he's now clearly a top five middleweight on the planet.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you expecting such a dominant performance from the undefeated prospect? Does Chris Weidman actually have the skill-set to give Anderson Silva fits?