That being said, here are four burning questions going into UFC on FUEL TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman.
4. How Will Aaron Simpson Perform In His First Fight At Welterweight?
After a disappointing decision loss to Ronny Markes at UFC on FUEL TV 1, Aaron Simpson will drop to the welterweight division in hopes of making a run towards the 170-pound title. Simpson’s journey begins with a main card match up against one-fight UFC veteran Kenny Robertson at UFC on FUEL TV 4.
Simpson had a fairly successful tenure in his 14 fights as a middleweight, going 6-3 in the UFC with wins in three of his last four bouts. However, Simpson believes he was being physically outmatched in the division and wants to flip the script by cutting the 15-pounds down to welterweight so that he can take his shot at being the bigger man.
A change in weight classes gives Simpson the chance to compete against athletes who are of similar physical stature, something that will be hugely beneficial if he can cut the weight effectively. Seeing that he has spent most of his life wrestling and cutting weight, it is hard to imagine that making 170-pounds will be difficult. The one roadblock, though, could be the his body not holding up on him through a cut at 37 years old. The American is powerful wrestler with some heavy hands and if he can carry his strength and power down with him to the new weight class, he should be able to give a lot of fighter’s trouble.
3. Has Anthony Njokuani’ Ground Game Improved Enough To Fend Off Rafael Dos Anjos?
It is proven fact Anthony Njokuani has struggled against grapplers with strong submission skills throughout his career. Three of Njokuani’s six losses are via submission while two of the remaining three have come by being stopped with strikes or outworked on the mat by a superior grappler to a decision. Grappling has been Njokuani’s achilles heel and on the main card of UFC on FUEL TV 4, he meets one of the most dangerous grapplers in the lightweight division in Rafael Dos Anjos.
Njokuani has without a doubt worked diligently to improve his ground game in recent years, and chances are UFC matchmaker Joe Silva put this match up together to see how far those skills have come.
As it is with every Njokuani fight, there is no secrets “The Assassin” wants to keep the fight standing, but chances are he will end up on his back at least once. If he does, the American will either sink or swim.
2. Can Joey Beltran Make Good On His Second UFC Stint?
The last time Joey Beltran was seen in the UFC octagon was at UFC on FOX 2 last January when Lavar Johnson knocked him out for the first time in his career. He was released from the UFC roster but brought back as a late replacement after Brandon Vera was moved off the card and Jams Te Huna needed an opponent.
Beltran was average in his first UFC run, compiling a mediocre 3-4 record. Upon his release from the organization, he made a career-changing move from the heavyweight division down to light heavyweight and picked up an impressive win on the regional scene in his 205-pound debut. Beltran’s physique is nearly unrecognizable compared to his look as a heavyweight and it appears he is a renewed fighter at the lighter weight class.
Beltran has been given a rare second chance in the UFC and to put even more pressure on “The Mexicutioner”, his bout with Te Huna will serve as the co-main event of the night at UFC on FUEL TV 4. Beltran is by no means going to be a title contender at light heavyweight, but a win over Te Huna would be the biggest of his career and earn him at least one more fight in the organization.
1. Will Chris Weidman The Next Middleweight Title Contender?
One of the most impressive young fighters on the UFC roster will return to the octagon at UFC on FUEL TV 4 as Chris Weidman is set to take on “The Pilipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz in the main event of the night.
Weidman is currently undefeated in his career with a 4-0 record under the UFC banner including wins over Alessio Sakara, Jessie Bongfeldt, Tom Lawlor and Demian Maia. The “All-American” had dominated each and every opponent he has faced thus far, looking more impressive in each performance. Weidman will now turn his attention to the most difficult opponent of his career when he takes on Munoz.
With overpowering wrestling abilities, a slick submission game and ever improving stand up; Weidman is quickly climbing the ranks in the middleweight division. A win over a fighter like Munoz, a man who was one fight away from a UFC title shot prior an injury that forced him out of a number one contenders bout with Chael Sonnen, would be colossal for his career. There are still many unknowns regarding Weidman’s game, but should he pull of the victory on July 11, the former Division I wrestler is well on his way to earning a shot at the title.