A Look Back at UFC on Fuel 4

Sometimes, the smallest present under the Christmas tree brings the greatest joy.

Although some, myself amongst them, considered UFC on Fuel 4 a sub-par, lackluster affair entering the bout, the results were far from what was expected. We, as the fans, were fortunate enough to witness knock outs, submissions, high paced battles, a new UFC record, and the revelation of two possible future champions. If you weren’t fortunate enough to see it on Fuel, please follow me through a breakdown of this past evening’s televised event.

Rafeal Dos Anjos vs. Anthony Njokuani

The real story of this fight was the versatility of Dos Anjos. Striking, wrestling, jits, dirty boxing; it was all there.

Round 1- Out of the gate, Njokuani looks very light on his feet. As the battle commences, Dos Anjos knocks Njokuani down in the first with a well-placed strike. This is where we get to see that his game has evolved, significantly. Dominant round for Dos Anjos.

(In between rounds, Njokuani informs his corner that he has injured his left foot. His corner gives him sound advice, stating that he should “use his other one.”

Round 2- Dos Anjos hits his stride, dominating through- out. Rafael sinks multiple take downs, and goes for a sub attempt late in the second round.

Round 3- Njokuani comes out with a sense of focus, knowing that he is now down two rounds. Rather than starting to unleash his striking ability, Njokuani throws 2-3 count combos, never opening up completely. Dos Anjos continues his varied onslaught, throwing multiple takedowns/takedown attempts. He finishes the round in dominant position.

Final result: Dos Anjos def. Njokuani by UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

T.J Dillashaw vs. Vaughn Lee

Round 1- Lee and Dillashaw charge at each other. Lee unleashes a flurry of strikes with bad intentions, catching Dillashaw with a big knee to the solar plexus.  As the separate, Lee unleashes a high kick that misses. Dillashaw capitalizes, catching a leg, and scooping Lee into the air before slamming him to the mat. T.J. shows solid ground control before taking Lee’s back. Lee stands up with Dillashaw clinging to him, fighting for position. After working for a moment, Dillashaw sinks in a rear naked choke/ neck crank. Dillashaw uses his left foot to kick Lee’s knee out from under him, forcing him to tumble to the ground. After a moment of struggle, Lee is forced to tap in the first.

Final result: T.J. Dillashaw by Submission (RNC)

Karlos Vemola vs. Francis Carmont

Round 1- The first thing that I notice is that Vermola is HUGE, and shuffles around the ring with an awkward style similar to Keith Jardine. Vermola shoots. Carmont attempts to stuff, but is still taken down. Vemola gains top position, but after a brief scramble, Carmont regains his feet. Vemola makes a dragged out guillotine attempt, but Carmont gives a thumbs up to the official. Carmont pops out in a dominant position, and secures side control, working for an Americana. Vemola scrambles, and Carmont ends up in his half guard. There is a quick scramble, and both end up back on their feet.

Carmont attempts a take down, which is surprising considering how well he was doing on his feet.  Vemola counters with another guillotine, and pulls guard, fatigue starting to show on his face. Carmont pops his head out, and throws a little ground and pound, although nothing significant lands. Carmont ends the round on top.

Round 2: Carmont opens with a huge front kick that connects flush to Vemola’s chin. The six-time Czech wrestling champ shrugs it off, and tansitions into a take down, pushing Carmont into the cage. There is a scramble, and Carmont attempts a guillotine. Vemola escapes and counters, gaining top position as the fight hits the mat. Carmont regains his feet, and is pressed against the fence once again. Carmont attempts a sit down kimora, dragging Vemola to the mat in a bottom position belly to back crucifix. Carmont transitions to a rear naked choke, forcing Vemola to tap at 3:22 of the second round.

Final result: Francis Carmont by submission (RNC)

Aaron Simpson vs. Kenny Robertson

This was Simpson’s first fight at 170, and Robertson was a late replacement for Jon Fitch.

Round 1: It’s apparent, immediately, that Simpson has a huge size advantage. They circle, feinting, throwing a few light shots. Robertson throws a head kick that misses. They clinch, and Robertson pushes Simpson against the cage. Simpson tries to reverse, and is successful on his second attempt. They break, and there is a strong fistic exchange by both. Simpson pushes Robertson to the cage, landing a knee. Robertson is starting to bleed from the forehead, possibly from a clash of heads.

Robertson manages to reverse, and there is a brief scramble. Simpson attempts a throw, but Robertson has a whizzer, and they both end up face down on the mat. As they separate, Simpson attempts another take down,  but Robertson rolls out and stands up, landing a nasty left hook that opens Simpson up above his eye. They circle, and clinch once more.

Simpson once again has Robertson against the cage. They scramble, and Robertson reverses, again, as they jockey for position. Simpson switches, going belly to back, while Robertson is against the cage. He throws a couple of knees to the glutes, then takes him down, landing in back control. Robertson tries to stand back up, but Simpson drops him with another double leg. Robertson manages to escape, once more, and they separate, circling each other as the round runs out.

Round 2: Very similar to round one. They clinch, immediately. Robertson attempts a number of spinning backfists, but none of them have any affect. Robertson is starting to look fatigued. The cycle continues. The clinch; they go against the fence; Simpson is getting the better of the grind. The round ends with Simpson in top position North/ South control against the fence.

Round 3: More of the same: Clinch, against the fence, take down. Simpson stays dominant as Robertson becomes more and more fatigued. A few strikes are exchanged, but nothing significant. On the ground, Simpson locks in an inverted triangle, but Robertson escapes. Simpson secures another take down, and unleashes some nasty ground and pound, trying to finish the fight before the clock runs out.

Final result: Aaron Simpson def. Kenny Robertson by UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Joey Beltran vs. James Te Huna

Round 1: Both start to fire immediately, but nothing is landing. Te Huna sinks a big right. Beltran is swinging, but can’t get in the range to land anything. Te Huna stands in the pocket, and is very calm as he counter strikes, getting the better of every exchange. The round continues with Te Huna being dominant. Near the end of the round, Te Huna lands a big 1-2, and then catches Beltran with a big left hook, staggering him. Beltran falls, and te Huna takes top mount against the cage, landing big shots. Somehow, Beltran regains his feet, eating more shots before he is saved by the bell.

Round 2: Slower, more tentative pace to start. Te Huna is mixing it up, well. Hard punches, slow punches, body punches. I can’t decide if he is pacing himself due to Beltran’s amazing ability to take punishment, or if he is simply toying with him.

Te Huna switches levels, sinking a double leg and taking Beltran down. They are stood up by the official. They continue to trade, with Te Huna still getting the better of each exchange. Beltran lands a stiff jab that staggers Te Huna. Te Huna transitions to a take down that is stopped at the end of the round.

Round 3: Both come out swinging. I keep wondering why Te Huna isn’t unloading. They trade close shots against the cage. Te Huna manages a couple more take-downs with big slams. There is another exchange, and Te Huna is finally starting to look tired. As the end of the round approaches, Beltran secures his own double leg, dropping Te Huna against the cage. They both stand, and a vicious exchange ends the round.

Final result: James Te Huna def. Joey Beltran by UD (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman

Round 1: At the bell, they circle each other, feinting. Weidman fakes the jab, then changes levels and secures a single leg, dragging Munoz to the ground at 4:27 of the first round. Weidman begins to dominate Munoz, switching to side mount. Munoz stands, and eats a couple of knees. They scramble back and forth, with Weidman controlling all positions. The round ends with Weidman holding Munoz, belly to back, against the cage. A few knees from Weidman to the legs and glutes of Munoz ends the round.

Round 2: Weidman uses the same approach, faking the jab and securing the single leg take down. They jockey for position on the ground, and the crowd is starting to boo. Munoz gets up, winging a right hand at Weidman’s head. There are a few strikes, and Weidman lands a solid 2-3 combo. Munoz charges in, and Weidman lands a big elbow to his brow. Munoz staggers, and Weidman takes his back, forcing him to the ground. Munoz turtles with Weidman on his back. Weidman lands a few big, clean, shots, while Josh Rosenthal looks on. Weidman’s heavy blows continue to land, and blood begins to spurt across the mat. Munoz goes limp, and Weidman lands a number of shots before the official finally steps in. Very late stoppage.

Final result: Chris Weidman def. Mark Munoz by TKO

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