UFC on Fuel TV 4 Results: Memorable Moments from Munoz vs. Weidman
Just days from arguably the biggest mixed martial arts fight ever, the UFC was back at it on Wednesday evening for UFC on FUEL TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman.
Two top-10 middleweights took center stage for the main event as Mark Munoz and Chris Weidman battled it out for the potential right of being the next challenger to UFC 185-pound champion Anderson Silva.
There was a very decisive winner in a very historic moment for that fighter's career.
But that was just one of the things that this fight card will be remembered for.
Let's take a look back at the most memorable moments from UFC on Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman in San Jose.
Assuncão Gets His 1st Knockout Win Under the Zuffa Banner
Known primarily for his tremendous jiu-jitsu skills, Brazilian fighter Raphael Assuncão had struggled throughout his seven-fight Zuffa career to compete against higher-level opponents on the feet.
At least for one night, however, Assuncão seemed to have the advantage in his UFC on Fuel TV bout against Issei Tamura.
Tamura recently stopped Chinese sensation Zhang Tie Quan with a knockout of his own but may have underestimated the striking of his opponent on Wednesday night.
Assuncão is now 17-4 in his MMA career with an impressive 5-3 record in Zuffa-owned promotions. If his striking continues to get better, it will only serve to make the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt an even more dangerous fighter.
A Dramatic Comeback Victory from Andrew Craig
Rafael Natal is one of the more dynamic fighters in the 185-pound division and was proving that for the better part of two rounds against Andrew Craig during the preliminary fights on Wednesday night.
Natal's stance switching from normal to south paw seemed to confuse Andrew Craig who got tagged pretty badly in the second round. The fight appeared to be nearly over numerous times as Natal repeatedly clipped the undefeated American.
Craig showed tremendous heart to stay in the fight, however, and eventually caught Natal off-guard with a deadly right high kick that landed right behind the ear. Natal fell flat to his back, and that was all she wrote.
The comeback victory was very unexpected and came in a round that he was arguably losing 10-8 at that point.
Submission Wizardry from Bruce Leroy
Alex Caceres might be the most hyped fighter with a 1-3 UFC record in the promotion's history.
He hadn't done much to live up to those expectations yet, but "Bruce Leroy" definitely did that and more in San Jose when he slapped on an awesome triangle choke from his back in the second round against Damacio Page. The submission was very similar to what we saw from Anderson Silva in his first bout against Chael Sonnen.
Caceres actually almost got the same submission in the first round, but Page escaped and was able to stay in the fight.
Page proceeded to bring the fight to the ground again in the second round and landed some punches from the top. It wasn't looking great for Caceres until he came out of nowhere with the triangle choke that he was finally able to cinch in deep.
In the post-fight interview in the cage with Jon Anik on Fuel TV, Caceres noted that he got hit a few times but didn't really take much real damage.
"None of the blows really landed too hard on my afro," he said.
Dillashaw's Standing Rear-Naked Choke
T.J. Dillashaw was the biggest betting favorite on the card on Wednesday night when he battled Vaughan Lee. The fight didn't start off as easily as many expected it to go for Dillashaw, though, as the Team Alpha Male bantamweight was getting outstruck on the feet.
Sensing that the fight wasn't going his way, Dillashaw knew that he had a big advantage if the fight went to the ground. He began working for the takedown and while Lee avoided going to the ground for too long, he ended up giving up his back in the process.
Dillashaw sunk in the hooks and worked to achieve an impressive rear-naked choke/neck crank that got the submission. The elbow wasn't under the chin, but the damage was done anyway.
Dillashaw's training partner, Urijah Faber, could be the top fighter in the division soon, which could subsequently mean a long wait before Dillashaw competes for the bantamweight title.
Francis Carmont's 8th Straight MMA Win
French middleweight Francis Carmont might not be a name that many UFC fans know, but he should begin to get a little more recognition following a nice submission win over a solid opponent in Karlos Vemola.
Carmont, a huge middleweight, struggled to bring the fight to the ground and was nearly in trouble numerous times as Vemola countered with guillotine chokes. Vemola was unable to finish in the first round, though, and exhausted a lot of energy in doing so.
Carmont opened the second round with an awesome, Anderson Silva-like front kick to start the second round from Carmont.
The fight eventually went to the ground where Carmont's jiu-jitsu came into play. He put Vemola in a very nice arm-trapped, rear-naked choke where Vemola was forced to tap.
Now 3-0 in the UFC, Carmont is quickly rising though the ranks and could be fighting against some higher-level competition in the very near future.
A Classic Slugfest
Some fights don't live up to the hype, but the expected standup battle between James Te-Huna and Joey Beltran lived up to all expectations and more.
Beltran was making his debut in the lightweight division for the UFC after being cut from the promotion, following back-to-back fights in the heavyweight division. He decided to drop to 205 where he could potentially reinvigorate his career, and after one win outside of the Octagon, got his chance once again in the big leagues.
Unfortunately, as has happened a few times in the past, Beltran was just matched up against a better fighter on Wednesday night. Te-Huna's boxing looked amazing as he threw fluid combinations and really loaded up with some powerful right hands, clipping Beltran numerous times throughout the bout.
Te-Huna smashed Beltran with a huge left hook that knocked the "Mexicutioner" down in the first round. He continued to unload, but Beltran would not go out. During that round, Te-Huna landed the highest number of significant strikes (71) in the history of a UFC light heavyweight round, according to Jon Anik's UFC on Fuel commentary.
When it was all said and done, 206 total significant strikes were landed between the two fighters, also a UFC record.
Beltran has been known to be in some real wars in the past, and this one was one of his best. It was also a bright moment for Te-Huna who has now improved his UFC record to 4-1 with his only loss coming against one of the top prospects in the division—Alexander Gustafsson.
A New Challenger for Anderson Silva
It was supposed to be a fairly even match by most accounts, but Chris Weidman proved that he is, without question, the better fighter...he might also be the guy who takes Chael Sonnen's place as the guy who fans are hoping will challenge UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
It was an amazing wrestling display against one of the best wrestlers in the business as Weidman took Munoz down with relative ease in the first round. That was just the beginning of this one-sided beatdown, though.
The fight eventually went back to the feet in Round 2. After Weidman's success on the ground, it appeared as if Munoz's best chance might be to keep the fight standing.
Not so much.
While slipping one of Munoz's punches, Weidman countered with a thunderous straight elbow that landed right on Munoz's forehead, knocking him out immediately.
Weidman's dominance in this fight cannot be overstated. Munoz did not land a single strike throughout the entire contest.
After the fight, the fans roared with approval as Weidman called out Anderson Silva.
Rosenthal's Late Stoppage
MMA may very well be the hardest sport in the world to be a referee for. No matter what you do, it seems that you're always doing something wrong in someone's eyes.
Whether it's stopping a fight too early, not seeing a foul, not standing up a fight after too long of a stall on the ground, standing the fight up too early...it's really a thankless job.
But a referee's most important job, above all else, is to use his or her access to "the best seat in the house" to protect the two combatants in the cage.
That did not happen on Wednesday night during the main event on Fuel TV when referee Josh Rosenthal allowed Mark Munoz to take countless, unprotected, violent shots directly to the head after being very clearly knocked out prior to the stoppage.
To his credit, Josh Rosenthal is typically considered by most to be one of, if not the best referee in the business. However, his apparent disregard for Munoz's well-being needs to be examined more closely.
At this point, unless there is some great explanation as to why he decided not to stop the fight, many fans are going to be calling for a suspension to Rosenthal's referee license...and rightfully so.
What happened was completely unacceptable and may put some tarnish on an otherwise very fun night of fights.
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