UFC on FUEL TV 4 featured a Middleweight match up between two wrestling-minded competitors, Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman, both with future championship aspirations on their minds. However, only one could advance to the next level of consideration, which is suddenly crowded with the likes of Hector Lombard, Michael Bisping, Vitor Belfort and Alan Belcher, among others.
That would be none other than, "All American."
Weidman put on a complete clinic, pushing the pace and completely overwhelming Munoz from the moment the fight started. It would be an understatement to classify this seemingly evenly-matched fight as a completely lopsided beatdown. Weidman dominated in all aspects -- wrestling, submissions, Muay Thai and ... elbow.
That's right, elbow.
One perfectly-placed, insane elbow that clipped Munoz's forehead as he misfired with a wild Donkey Kong punch. It was most likely thrown off its trajectory because of that ridiculous elbow that didn't just set up the eventual technical knockout stoppage, but split his wig as he fell flat on his face.
The only thing that marred an otherwise perfect performance was the referee's decision to not stop the fight sooner. Munoz was hurt bad from that elbow -- the additional 10 or so head bouncers that Weidman had to deliver to compel Josh Rosenthal to intervene were completely unnecessary.
Either way, Weidman was on fire last night and so, too, were the rave reviews from Chael Sonnen and the rest of FUEL TV broadcast team who gushed about his performance. His stock soared through the roof last night thanks to an utterly dominant performance over a very good fighter and, of course, that friggin' elbow.
In the co main event of the evening, James Te Huna and Joey Beltran were paired up with likely one outcome in mind: Fireworks. Fortunately, this MMA slobber knocker lived up to its billing, with the Kiwi cracking and "The Mexicutioner" snapping.
Well, it was more like surviving.
Te Huna carpet bombed Beltran with a seemingly bottomless barrage of blasts in the first frame, setting a record for the most significant strikes (71) landed in one round in a Light Heavyweight tilt. He wasn't throwing marshmallows, either, Te Huna was landing with painful precision and phenomenal power.
Somehow, someway Beltran managed to keep it together and demonstrate to the referee that he could continue.
And continue he did, seeing the fight to its 15-minute conclusion. Along the way, he even mounted a little offense of his own, including a significant shot to end the second and a takedown in the third. Te Huna was clearly spent from his pre-dawn raid at this stage, so it's no surprise that he was unable to close the deal before the final buzzer.
If he couldn't get it done after that first round blitzkrieg, there was no way it was going to happen when both men could barely keep up their hands.
In the end, Te Huna went on to take home a lopsided unanimous decision, while Beltran limps back to Carlsbad, Calif., with his many lumps ... and much respect.
Unhappy with his progress -- or lack thereof -- up the Middleweight ranks, Aaron Simpson opted to shed 15 pounds and ply the deep Welterweight waters. It appeared to be adult swim from the get-go when he drew one of the top 170-pound fighters in the world, Jon Fitch, in his debut, but fate intervened in the form of an injury to the former number one division contender.
Kenny Robertson to the rescue.
The pair started off hot, exchanging punches that had both of them cut up. Simpson, in fact, even appeared to be doing a mini bop bag impression, swaying from side-to-side, but Robertson let him off the hook when he failed to press the action.
Simpson and Robertson continued to set a pretty decent pace early, but it didn't last as it soon turned into a battle for position. And with his Arizona State University (ASU) wrestling pedigree, along with his strength as the bigger man, Simpson essentially coasted to the finish line to remain undefeated in his new weight class.
There were certainly a few bright spots sprinkled throughout, but nothing to write home about. Simpson had a nice chance to finish Robertson in the final minute of the fight, but he simply couldn't get it done. He picked up a solid decision win, but had he been locked inside of a cage with a Fitch for 15 minutes, he might not have been so fortunate.
Not even close.
Karlos Vemola, a former Light Heavyweight, was looking to extend his win streak to two as a 185-pound participant against Francis Carmont, a mountain of a man who seemed to dwarf the Czech in the size department.
Unfortunately for "The Terminator," Carmont is now dwarfing him in the Middleweight win department, too.
However, Vemola didn't make it easy. On the contrary, he had Carmont in several tricky positions early on, twice, actually, with a guillotine choke. Try and squeeze as he might, Carmont was able to wriggle free each time, likely taxing Vemola significantly heading into the second stanza.
Carmont woke him up pretty quickly with a serious Steven Seagal-inspired (Sorry Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida) front kick to the face, which he somehow managed to survive and turn into a takedown attempt. It was unsuccessful with Carmont defending and then securing a clever guillotine that triggered a tumble.
Both men returned to their feet, only to fall right back down, but this time Carmont managed to somehow set up a crucifix along the way, which he then used to sink in a fight-ending rear naked choke.
Scrambles, Transitions And Submissions, Oh My.
British upstart Vaughan Lee was out to prove that his shocking submission of Norifumi Yamamoto earlier this year was no fluke. Perhaps it wasn't, but he didn't prove anything last night other than he's definitely not better than T.J. Dillashaw.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 runner up scored a huge slam in round one that significantly shifted the fight in his favor. Prior to the power bomb, Lee appeared to be finding some good spots in the striking department.
Dillashaw quickly adjusted and kept the pressure on even when Lee escaped the bottom position, using his top-shelf wrestling skills to close the distance and obtain a very advantageous position:
Rather than work like hell to escape, Lee tried to play Patty Cake with Dillashaw's paws, trying to ensure that one of his arms didn't find its way under his neck. It was a costly mistake, as Dillashaw transitioned from a standing neck crank to a rear naked choke in short order.
So short, in fact, that Lee tapped before his knees even hit the canvas.
Anthony Njokuani was supposed to be the superior striker heading into his Lightweight bout with Rafael dos Anjos in the first fight of the FUEL TV broadcast, but it was the Brazilian who managed to shine early the moment fists began to fly.
Dos Anjos hurt the lethal Nigerian-born beanpole with several strikes, particularly in the opening frame, however he could not finish him with his jiu-jitsu blackbelt skills. Njokuani, who wiggled out of a solid submission attempt to end round two, kept getting to his feet despite' Dos Anjos repeated efforts to keep the scrap horizontal.
With two rounds seemingly in his favor, and with Njokuani in desperation mode, Dos Anjos seemed content to stick and move in the third round, mixing in a takedown attempt or two -- and landing a big one with about 90 seconds remaining -- to get the unanimous nod from the ringside judges.
And he got it.
Njokuani appeared to reveal to his corner that his right hand was possibly broken, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. He got hit frequently and then taken down without mounting much notable offense -- or defense for that matter -- throughout the entire fight.
That's enough from us. Now it's your turn to discuss UFC on FUEL TV 4: "Munoz vs. Weidman" in the comments section below.
Can Weidman give Anderson Silva a run for his money? Is Beltran's chin of this Earth? Can Simpson make any waves at 170? Can Carmont compete with the upper echelon of the divison? Is Dillashaw a future Bantamweight contender? How about that ELBOW!?!?!?
Let's hear it, Maniacs.
Be sure to also check out our complete UFC on FUEL TV 4 blow-by-blow coverage of the entire "Munoz vs. Weidman" event right here.