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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The UFC's fourth dedicated fight card for Fuel TV comes live on Wednesday night from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The event features a six-fight main card, with five more streaming live on Facebook. Here's a quick look at what's on tap for the main card, along with my picks for the six Fuel TV fights.
Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman (Middleweight): This is a battle of two former high level NCAA D-1 wrestlers, but their specialties in MMA have taken different paths. Munoz has heavy hands, and is more than willing to trade strikes with most in the division. His grappling hasn't been quite as dominant as many have expected, but his ground and pound game remains a strength, and his 7-2 UFC run has been very solid. For Weidman, though he's certainly a capable striker, he's stronger with his submission game. He did out-strike Demian Maia in January, and will likely be able to hold his own against Munoz, but he's definitely going to try to put Munoz on his back and work for submissions from the top. It's an interesting matchup, and though Munoz has a longer track record in the UFC, I like Weidman's chances here. Weidman via deision
James Te Huna vs. Joey Beltran (Light Heavyeight): Beltran was released from the UFC in January after his fourth loss in five fights. He then dropped to the light heavyweight division, and picked up a win outside the organization in April. He's a heavy hitter, and he's got a great chin that has only been bested by the very powerful hands of Lavar Johnson. That said, Te Huna hits really hard himself. He's won three of his four bouts in the UFC, stopping them all, and he himself has never been stopped by strikes. Beltran is getting this opportunity as a late replacement, but it's not likely to end much differently than what sent him away. Te Huna via TKO in the second round
Aaron Simpson vs. Kenny Robertson (Welterweight): Simpson was set to make his welterweight debut against Jon Fitch on this card, and instead he'll face the relatively unknown Robertson, who returns to the UFC after a fight outside of the organization. Robertson's sole loss came at the hands of Mike Pierce last February at UFC 146, but he's got a very good record overall, with ten wins by stoppage and one more by decision. Simpson made the drop after a loss in his last fight, but he holds a 6-3 mark in the UFC overall. This is a tough fight to call, surprisingly enough; Simpson's a talented fighter, and enters his 10th UFC bout, but Robertson's got some well rounded skills and could be a challenge on the feet. Still, the safe pick is Simpson via unanimous decision
Karlos Vemola vs. Francis Carmont (Middleweight): Vemola impressed in his two UFC wins over Seth Petruzelli and Mike Massenzio (which came in his middleweight debut), but he's suffered decision losses at the hands of Jon Madsen and Ronny Markes. Carmont has won two straight since entering the UFC, most recently defeating Magnus Cedenblad at UFC on Fuel 2 in Sweden. Both are tough, talented fighters, but Vemola's uber-aggressive style may work in his favor here, and his ground game could be the difference here. Vemola via submission in the second round
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Vaughan Lee (Bantamweight): Dillashaw fell short in the Ultimate Fighter season 14 Finals to John Dodson, but he turned it around with a one-sided decision over Walel Watson in February. After a split decision loss to a very tough Chris Cariaso, Lee pulled off a beautiful armbar late in the first round of his fight with "Kid" Yamamoto in February. He's got a very solid submission game, with seven of his 12 career wins ending by some form of submission, and he's definitely got the experience edge on Dillashaw. However, he'll have to catch something while Dillashaw works from the top in what will likely be an attempted wrestling clinic. He might catch him in something, but it could also be a long night for him if he can't do just that. Either way, it should be a close fight. Dillashaw via decision
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Anthony Njokuani (Lightweight): Dos Anjos has had some excellent performances inside the Octagon, but he's fallen short a few times, even when he's been ahead. Njokuani is an extremely inconsistent fighter, as likely to knock someone's head off as he is to lose a fight. He's facing a very tough grappler in dos Anjos in this one, and he doesn't necessarily have a striking advantage here, either. This is poised to be a very exciting fight, as both almost always have enjoyable performances regardless of whether they win or lose. Still, dos Anjos is a very formidable opponent for anyone in this division, and should be the favorite in this one. Dos Anjos via submission in the first round
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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