Francis Carmont defeated heavyweight-turned-middleweight fighter Karlos Vemola tonight via rear-naked choke early in Round 2 during the UFC on Fuel show in San Jose, California.
Carmont improves his record to 19-7-0 and extends his current winning streak to eight with the win.
Vemola fought at heavyweight, but Carmont looked like the bigger fighter in the middleweight bout at 6'3"—he has a lot of length to work with and mixes his striking up nicely with his grappling.
Despite lacking technical striking, Vemola is an accomplished wrestler, winning multiple national championships in his native Czech Republic. Carmont had no problem grappling with Vemola in a fight where both fighters exchanged takedowns and dominant positions until Carmont got the win. Carmont also landed a very well-placed "Anderson Silva-like" front kick that Vemola managed to survive after shooting for the takedown.
With three straight wins in the UFC and the last two coming by submission, Carmont is at a point where he deserves a top-10 opponent in the division. The UFC should be careful with Carmont and build him up, because he seems to have a style that would be a challenge for UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Carmont struggled earlier in his career with the defensive grappling and wrestling aspects of his game, things fighters need to shore up if they want to make a run in the UFC.
Working out of Tristar gym—now with top MMA wrestler Georges St-Pierre—is paying off for Carmont as evidenced in the Vemola fight.
I would like to see Carmont draw Chris Weidman should he win over Mark Munoz later tonight. I think Weidman is too green for the title shot and Munoz will probably get the shot if he wins. This would be a good test for Carmont because Weidman is a well-rounded fighter with excellent wrestling and grappling ability.
If not Weidman, a fight against the winner of the Hector Lombard vs. Tim Boetsch fight at UFC 149 in Calgary, Alberta (July 21), would be a great test for Carmont as well.
Hailing from France, Carmont has some international appeal in the European market and is a fighter the UFC should continue to push up the ranks with the aim of getting him to an eventual title shot. If Carmont can get two to three more wins over top-10 opponents, I think we'll see him challenging for the belt sooner rather than later.
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