We’re taking a quick return trip to the Octagon for my latest review as we take a look at the UFC’s latest show on Fuel TV, shown in the early hours of this past Thursday morning on ESPN here in Britain.
The broadcast began in the lightweight division as Rafael Dos Anjos went up against Anthony Njokuani.
This proved to be an interesting three rounder. They began with some nice exchanges, but when Dos Anjos connected with a big left that put Njokuani on his backside he soon took control.
Dos Anjos was relentless with his takedown attempts, scoring with them more often than not, although Njokuani showing some great defensive skills as he managed to get back to his feet on more than one occasion.
Despite this Dos Anjos looked the better fighter, especially in the third round when he took the fight to the ground and finally managed to keep his man there with a sustained period of ground and pound.
With neither man able to get the finish the judges were called into action as Dos Anjos took the unanimous decision.
It was down to bantamweight for the next fight as T.J. Dillashaw took on Vaughn Lee.
We saw a brief feeling out period at the beginning of this one as both fighters tried to find their range, although it wasn’t long before they were both connecting.
Dillashaw soon scored with the big takedown, and although Lee managed to get back up Dillashaw took his back. He then jumped up and went for a rear naked choke, and even though he didn’t quite have it in place Lee soon tapped to give Dillashaw the impressive submission win.
Then it was up to the middleweight division as Karlos Vemola faced Francis Carmont.
This one featured some great grappling exchanges. Both fighters put on a nice display as they went for various submissions, Vemola for a couple of guillotines and Carmont for an Americana.
The second round began with Vemola eating a front kick before the fight went back to the ground. From there Carmont controlled the action, and after a few moments he took Vemola’s back and synched in a rear naked choke for the submission win.
Welterweight action followed as Aaron Simpson took on Kenny Robertson.
Despite the fact that these two cut each other open with their striking the majority of featured some great grappling action, particularly from Simpson.
Robertson did okay early on, but as the fight progressed Simpson took control, especially from the second round onwards. As Robertson began to visibly tire Simpson looked like he was getting stronger and stronger, showing that his drop down from middleweight had no effect on his conditioning.
Despite all his good work on the ground Simpson couldn’t get the finish, but that didn’t stop him from getting the unanimous decision.
The penultimate fight featured light heavyweight action as James Te Huna went up against Joey Beltran.
As the fight began Kenny Florian predicted from his seat at cage side that this fight wouldn’t make it to the third round. He couldn’t have been more wrong.
For three rounds these two engaged in an enthralling battle. They began trading blows early on, and it wasn’t long before Te Huna took control.
Te Huna was clearly the better striker, although Beltran could probably be described as being very game as he rolled off some great jabs.
There were brief forays to the ground, but nothing of any real significance as the fight ended with both men swinging for the fences again.
This meant more work for the judges as Te Huna took the unanimous decision.
The main event featured more action from the middleweight division as Mark Munoz took on Chris Weidman.
Weidman put in a dominating performance in this one. After some brief opening exchanges the fight went to the ground as Weidman’s dominance began. Munoz just didn’t seem to have any answer to his opponent’s offence as Weidman targeted Munoz’s neck and arm with his submission attempts.
It was the same in the second round, and although Munoz got in a couple of good shots Weidman dominated again. It wasn’t the ground game that saw him through though.
Munoz went down to the mat after Weidman connected with a right elbow. He followed him down for a brief moment of ground and pound as the referee stepped in to give Weidman the knockout win.
In conclusion - the UFC’s foray into the world of normal television proved to be a very enjoyable show.
From the opening encounter between Dos Anjos and Njokuani right up to Chris Weidman’s dominance in the main event this show certainly delivered, and even though it didn’t have the mega-bucks names of their recent shows that didn’t make this less enjoyable.
As for my fight of the night award I’ve got two possibilities, with the no-prize going to the Munoz/Weidman main event.
So with that being said it’s time to close this thing out by giving the UFC’s latest Fuel TV show the thumbs up.