The Small Card That Could (UFC on Fuel TV 4 Review)

It never fails that the UFC puts on a great show whenever the championship goes to live TV to showcase some good fighters. The main events on live cards generally feature two big names in the divisions but rarely feature title holders or the biggest names in the UFC. The rest of the card is full of up and coming fighters or fighters fighting to just stay in the UFC. In contrast to this Pay-per-View fights are full of the best of the best and main events feature title shots with massive hype. This was the case at UFC 148 as the Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen fight featured the most hype out of any fight in UFC history. The rest of the card also received some hype as the Pay-per-View looked to be a great bunch of fights. It was only really the main event that almost matched the hype with the rest of the fights disappointing many fans. Only a few days later the UFC would go on live TV in a card that was overshadowed by the UFC 148 media storm. There was not much talk surrounding the card that would feature Mark Munoz and Chris Weidman in the main event. Despite the lack of hype the card on Fuel TV far outshined the card at UFC 148. A large part of this was the fact that many fighters on this card were looking to make an impression in the UFC to move their careers up to the next level. With Knockouts, submissions, and some great fights throughout the card there was almost no bad fights the entire night. It all came to a head when two of the top middleweights in the UFC faced off for their chance to take one more step towards a title shot. Mark Munoz was one fight away from his title shot in 2011 but an injury sidelined him and ended his hopes of fighting Chael Sonnen for the top contender spot. After a long rehab period Munoz was back to take on Chris Weidman and get back to the point he was before his injury. His opponent, Chris Weidman was essentially where Munoz was before his injury. A rapidly rising star in the middleweight division the undefeated Weidman has been climbing the ladder with impressive fights that have made him one of the best young middleweights in the UFC. Both fighters also represented the two paths that wrestlers take when they enter the UFC. Both fighters were very successful wrestlers in the NCAA and transferred those skills to the UFC but chose different paths. For Munoz his power transformed him into the next great ground and pound fighter as he looks to take fighters down and use his power to end fights. Meanwhile Chris Weidman used his wrestling skills and turned into a Jiu Jitsu artist who loves to submit his opponents. These two similar yet different styles would face off in the main event as both looked for a potential top contender spot. The fight began with a short feeling out period that was ended when Weidman was able to takedown Munoz. While in the top position Weidman continued to stay active looking for a submission to end the fight. He came close a few times as he almost sunk in a guillotine and then almost finished the fight with a Kimura. The round ended with Weidman clearly winning the round thanks to his work on the ground as his wrestling outshone Munoz’s. The second round started the same way as the first ended with Weidman earning a takedown and again trying to submit Munoz. It did not last long though as Munoz was able to escape the position to get back to the feet where he was more comfortable. While standing Munoz looked to be earning more confidence and threw a big right hand. While coming in on the punch Weidman made a quick move throwing a devastating elbow right on the button and sending Munoz to the mat. Weidman jumped on the chance and finished the fight earning his first TKO win in the UFC. With the win Weidman moves up the ladder and may be one fight away from earning his title shot despite asking the UFC for Anderson Silva. Munoz was disappointed in his first fight back but will go back to the drawing board and remain one of the top middleweights in the division.

Before the Middleweights faced off for a chance to move up the ladder two light heavyweight fighters faced off for their own reasons. James Te Huna has been rising up the ranks in the Light Heavyweight Division and he was looking to make a big impression on live TV. Te Huna entered the UFC in 2010 and has gone 3-1 with no fight going the distance. With devastating power he has won all three of his fights by KO putting the Light Heavyweight Division on notice. He would take on Joey Beltran in a matchup where he looked to continue his climb up the division ladder to the elite level of fighters. Joey Beltran is far from this elite level in the division as he would come in to the fight looking to survive in the UFC. After losing to Lavar Johnson in January Beltran was cut from the UFC forcing him into smaller promotions. The loss also changed Beltran as he realized being the smaller man in the heavyweight division was not a good plan. Instead he switched to the Light heavyweight division which better suited him and his style of fighting. Now Beltran would get the call from the UFC once again as he would again be a part of the roster and would look to win the fight and stay in the UFC. Unfortunately for Beltran it did not work out the way he was hoping with James Te Huna teeing off on the Mexicutioner for almost the entire fight. With Te Huna landing the most first round significant strikes ever for the 205 division, 71 total, Beltran did show his will. Beltran would not give up as he continued to take vicious shots but would not go down. He lasted the entire fight and despite a flurry in the last round he was clearly the loser on the night. Still his performance earned him some respect and may stand his UFC life for a few more fights. Meanwhile James Te Huna will move up in competition as he looks to begin facing the top of the division until he can earn his title shot.

The Bonuses for UFC on Fuel TV 4 totaled $40,000 for the top performers but it was not an easy decision with so many great fights. The “Submission of the Night” went to Alex Caceres in the preliminary card for his Triangle Choke win against Damacio Page. The “Knockout of the Night” went to went to the main event winner as Chris Weidman took the bonus for his devastating elbow KO of Mark Munoz. The “Fight of the Night” went to the co-main event as James Te Huna and Joey Beltran took home bonuses for their slugfest. UFC on Fuel TV 4 had plenty of great fights to choose from as the card proved that you do not need all the hype to create a great fight.

 

Fight Results

Main Event:

“The All-American” Chris Weidman def. Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz

(TKO, Rd. 2)

 

Main Card:

James Te Huna def. Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Aaron “A-Train” Simpson def. Kenny Robertson

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Francis “Limitless” Carmont def. Karlos Vemola

(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 2)

 

TJ Dillashaw def. Vaughan Lee

(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 1)

 

Rafael dos Anjos def. Anthony “The Assassin” Njoukani

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Undercard:

Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres def. Damacio “The Angel of Death” Page

(Submission; Triangle Choke, Rd. 2)

 

Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso def. Josh “Taz” Ferguson

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Andrew Craig def. Rafael “Sapo” Natal

(KO, Rd. 2)

 

Marcelo “Magrao” Guimaraes def. Dan “The Anvil” Stittgen

(Split Decision)

 

Raphael Assuncao def. Issei Tamura

(TKO, Rd. 2)

 

Upcoming Events:

UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao (Saturday July 21st; 10:00 pm ET)

– Calgary, Alberta (Scotiabank Saddledome)

Main Event: Urijah “The California Kid” Faber vs. Renan Barao [Interim Bantamweight Title]

Notable: Hector Lombard vs. Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch

Notable: Chris “The Menace” Clements vs. Matthew Riddle

 

UFC on Fox 4: Shogun vs. Vera (Saturday August 4th; 8:00 pm ET)

– Free Live on Sportsnet/Fox

– Los Angeles, California (Staples Center)

Main event: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Brandon “The Truth” Vera

Notable: Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida vs. Ryan “Darth” Bader

 

UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar II (Saturday August 11th; 10:00 pm ET)

– Denver, Colorado (Pepsi Center)

Main Event: Benson “Smooth” Henderson vs. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar [Lightweight Title]

Notable: Jake Shields vs. Ed “Short Fuse” Herman

Notable: Dennis “Superman” Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares

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