The ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) staff weighs in on the UFC on FUEL TV 4 card which goes down Wednesday, July 11, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Top middleweight contenders Mark Munoz and Chris Weidman will square off in the main event with hopes the winner could possibly earn himself a title shot with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Anthony Njokuani (15-6, 1 NC) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (16-6)
ODDS: Njokuani +160 vs. Dos Njos – 180
JAY CEE: Although Njokuani is coming off a win in his last fight he has recently lacked the ability to finish fights. Anthony’s last four fights have gone the distance and resulted in the judges having to make the decision. I think Anthony will struggle against a hungry Dos Anjos who as recently finished by KO and submission. Pick: Raphael dos Anjos wins via Submission.
GARY THOMAS: Dos Anjos and Njokuani are so similar that is is almost impossible to pick this one. Both guys coming off a win and both with a little something to prove should make this scrap exciting. Dos Anjos can finish the fight but I don’t see it here and I predict him with a decision win over Njokuano. Pick: Dos Anos via Decision.
BRIAN FURBY: Anthony Njokuani.
JACK BRATCHER: This 155 pound bout is almost a pick-em for me. Njokuani is primarily a striker who had a lot more success before coming into the Zuffa fold. Dos Anjos, a BJJ black belt, is primarily a submission fighter who also had a lot more success before joining Zuffa. Dos Anjos has been in the UFC since 2009, while Njokuani didn’t crossover from the WEC until 2011. Because of that I would say Dos Anjos has faced a higher level of competition and has performed better against that competition than Njokuani has done against his WEC counterparts. Let me get some Dos Anjos via decision.
James Te Huna (14-5) vs. Joey Beltran (14-7)
ODDS: Te Huna -360 vs. Beltran +280
JAY CEE: As much as I would love Joey Beltran to come back in and reclaim his spot in the UFC I think he will struggle against an in-form James Te Huna. Beltran always comes to fight and will leave everything inside the octagon but Te Huna is riding a two fight knockout winning streak and I think Joey may be number three in that list. Pick: James Te Huna wins via TKO.
GARY THOMAS: Joey Beltran on a skid and gets back in the UFC after a win at a regional show. This could be the motivation he needs and after what he called an easy weight cut it will be interesting. Good match up for a Fuel card. Te Huna was set to face Brandon Vera but I doubt the opponent change matters. Pick: Te Huna Via TKO.
BRIAN FURBY: James Te Huna.
JACK BRATCHER: If you say James Te Huna’s name real fast it sounds like James Tuna. Here’s a couple things you should know. All of James Tuna’s losses have come via submission. This is Joey Beltran’s light heavyweight debut in the UFC and he will not win this fight by submission. Te Huna has 10 (T)KO wins on his record, Beltran has 11. Beltran is one of the most durable fighters you will ever come across. He also hits like a Mack truck and looks to be in the best shape of his life. I think we’re going to see something pretty special with Beltran at 205. This is one of two bets I would take on this card. Let me get some “Mexicutioner” via knockout.
T.J. Dillashaw (5-1) vs. Vaughan Lee (12-7-1)
ODDS: Dillashaw -410 vs. Lee +315
JAY CEE: Both of these fighters have the ability to finish the fight via submission or knockout but I have to go with Vaughan Lee on this one. Coming off a victory over Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto in Japan is no easy task and Lee managed to get it done via submission. I think he will continue from where he left of in his last fight and pick up a second consecutive win. Pick: Vaughan Lee wins via Submission.
GARY THOMAS: Lee’s submissions against the gritty ground and pound of Dillashaw should prove to be good fight. Lee is taking on the underdog role and after his upset victory in Japan he should know the part. Dillashaw may have the advantage with his skills coming out of Team Alpha Male. Should be a good one. Pick: Dillashaw via Decision.
BRIAN FURBY: T.J. Dillashaw.
JACK BRATCHER: What you have here is a Team Alpha Male fighter and former Division I wrestler taking on a BJJ black belt from England. Have I said enough? The Brit’s are notoriously bad wrestlers even thought they may be improving somewhat by default. Let me get some Dillashaw via decision in this bantamweight affair.
Karlos Vemola (9-2) vs. Francis Carmont (18-7)
ODDS: Vemola +170 vs. Carmont -200
JAY CEE: Karlos Vemola looks good at middleweight and is coming off a victory however I think he will have difficulty controlling Carmont in this fight. Francis has shown that he is very dominant on the ground and also a very strong 185 pounder. Vemola is always dangerous but I do not think he will be the man to stop GSP’s up and coming training partner. Pick: Francis Carmont wins via Decision.
GARY THOMAS: Can’t even pretend like I know much about either Carmont or Vemola. I do know that I am gonna take Carmont in a decision. Pick: Carmont via Submission.
BRIAN FURBY: Karlos Vemola.
JACK BRATCHER: Interesting match-up here in the middleweight division between the Czech and the Frenchman. Vemola has worked his way down from fighting as a heavyweight his first couple years as a pro. Vemola’s signature win was a TKO over Seth Petruzelli in the UFC’s debut in Germany in 2010. He is 2-2 inside the UFC Octagon, coming off his 185 pound debut with a second round submission of Mike Massenzio in May. Carmont is a lot more experienced than Vemola.He is so far undefeated in the UFC, having scored a decision over Chris Camozzi and a submission over Magnus Cedenblad. Carmont is on a seven-fight win streak, six via stoppage. There’s a lot to be said for momentum. Gimmie some Carmont via decision.
Aaron Simpson (11-3) vs. Kenny Robertson (11-1)
ODDS: Simpson -300 vs. Robertson +250
JAY CEE: These two men have very contrasting styles, Simpson tends to grind out decision victories and Robertson likes to finish fights via TKO or sub. All five of Kenny’s last five fights have ended before the end of the second round and all of Simpson’s have gone the distance. In a fight like this it is about who can impose their game plan first and get into their rhythm the fastest. I personally think that the younger but equally experienced Robertson will follow up his last MMA win with another knockout victory in this bout. Pick: Kenny Robertson wins via TKO.
GARY THOMAS: Aaron Simpson is making the drop and faces a guy that no one in the regional circuits wanted to fight. Should be a strong test for both men. I like Simpson’s wrestling to be the advantage here. Pick: Aaron Simpson via Decision.
BRIAN FURBY: Aaron Simpson.
JACK BRATCHER: This is only Robertson’s second fight in the UFC. He lost his first fight via TKO to Mike Pierce last year. He knocked out Lucio Linhares in his most recent fight in a smaller promotion. Simpson is 6-3 in the UFC since his Octagon debut in 2009. He had put together a three fight win streak before losing a split decision to Ronny Markes in February. Robertson is primarily a submission specialist but seems to be improving in his standup. Simpson is a wrestler with some heavy hands. I have to go with the wrestler here and the guy with more big show experience. Simpson via decision.
Mark Munoz (12-2) vs. Chris Weidman (8-0)
ODDS: Munoz +130 vs. Weidman -150
JAY CEE: This is such an interesting matchup because both of these fighters have very similar skill sets, both guys have excellent wrestling and the ability to submit or knockout their opponent. With that said…I have to go with the ‘Filipino Wrecking Machine’ in this fight as I feel he has competed against and defeated more high level fighters then Weidman. This experience could prove to be very valuable in a fight where I think Chris will loose his undefeated status. Pick: Mark Munoz wins via Decision.
GARY THOMAS: The winner of the main event in my eyes leads the pack in the middleweight division. Munoz is a strong competitor. Weidman is proving he belongs among the elite in the division. Hard to call this one because of the toughness of both men. I like the power striking of Munoz in this one. Weidman still has a bright future though. Pick: Munoz via TKO.
BRIAN FURBY: Mark Munoz.
JACK BRATCHER: This middleweight match-up is between two wrestlers who can throw some heat. Munoz is 7-2 in the UFC with his only losses coming to Yushin Okami and Matt Hamill (in Munoz’s UFC debut). This will be Weidman’s fifth UFC fight. Weidman is talented. His biggest win to date was in his last bout, a unanimous decision win over Demian Maia in January. Coincidentally, Munoz also defeated Maia via unanimous decision last June. Maia fought last in October 2011 with a TKO win over Chris Leben. I have to go with the man here with more big show experience. He trains with many remarkable fighters and spent a year and a half training with Anderson Silva three days a week. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised Munoz is the underdog. Munoz should win this fight via TKO and earn himself a title shot with his former training partner.
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