Darryl Dyck / AP
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 | 6 p.m.
There’s no time to rest and take in what last weekend’s momentous UFC 148 meant to the sport of mixed martial arts, not with the way the UFC is currently constructed.
Four days after its biggest event of the year, the UFC returns with another card. UFC on FUEL TV 4 goes down Wednesday night in San Jose, Calif.
It’s an event that carries a strong connection to UFC 148, where middleweight champion Anderson Silva scored a second-round TKO victory over Chael Sonnen. Silva’s next opponent could come out of the UFC on FUEL TV 4 main event, where veteran Mark Munoz (12-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) takes on rising Chris Weidman (8-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC).
The 34-year old Munoz is highly likely to snag a championship bout with a victory, as he was originally booked for a title eliminator against Sonnen earlier this year before pulling out with an injury. But oddsmakers like the 28-year old Weidman to spoil the party, as he’s a -145 (risking $1.45 to win $1) with Munoz coming back at +115 (risking $1 to win $1.15).
Weidman has gone undefeated in four fights since signing with the UFC a year-and-a-half ago with two unanimous decisions and two first-round submissions. Munoz is on a four-fight win streak of his own with two victories coming by unanimous decision and two via knockout.
Both have college wrestling backgrounds — Munoz at Oklahoma State and Weidman at Hofstra — so it may come down to who can excel more in the striking and grappling portions of the bout.
Pick: Weidman by decision
Check below for a rundown of the other 10 fights as well as betting odds and picks for the card, which airs on FUEL TV at 5 after preliminary bouts stream on facebook.
Light heavyweight bout: James Te Huna (14-5 MMA, 3-1 UFC) vs. Joey Beltran (13-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC)
Line: Te Huna -345, Beltran +275
Matchup: This is an early favorite for Fight of the Night, as the two sluggers have combined for 21 knockouts in their careers. They can both take a punch, too, as they’ve only lost by knockout one time combined. That time was January, however, when Lavar Johnson finished Beltran in the first round, which resulted in “The Mexecutioner’s” release from the UFC. He got a call to come back less than six months later after dropping to light heavyweight.
Pick: Te Huna by decision
Welterweight bout: Aaron Simpson (11-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Kenny Robertson (11-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Line: Simpson -300, Robertson +230
Matchup: Simpson was supposed to face hometown favorite Jon Fitch, who had to pull out with an injury. In Fitch’s place steps another grinder in Robertson. Expect a wrestling match in Simpson’s first fight at welterweight.
Pick: Simpson by decision
Middleweight bout: Karlos Vemola (9-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) vs. Francis Carmont (18-7 MMA, 2-0 UFC)
Line: Vemola +150, Carmont -180
Matchup: Carmont will plan to test Vemola’s chin with his striking. Vemola will try to take Carmont to the ground with his wrestling, something Carmont has stuggled with in the past.
Pick: Vemola by decision
Bantamweight bout: T.J. Dillashaw (5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Vaughan Lee (12-7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Line: Dillashaw -375, Lee +285
Matchup: Team Alpha Male’s Dillashaw has seen his MMA game come together rapidly since graduating from Cal-State Fullerton, where he wrestled. He can’t make any mistakes on the ground against Lee, who showed off his fortitude in submissions by slapping an arm bar on heavily-favored Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto at UFC 144.
Pick: Dillashaw by TKO
Lightweight bout: Rafael dos Anjos (16-6 MMA, 5-4 UFC) vs. Anthony Njokuani (15-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC)
Line: dos Anjos -175, Njokuani +145
Matchup: Njokuani and dos Anjos are both smack in the middle of the 155-pound division. Njokuani is capable of being one of the division’s most exciting fighters when an opponent is willing to stand with him. It’s doubtful dos Anjos, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, will take that approach.
Pick: dos Anjos by submission
Bantamweight bout: Damacio Page (15-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) vs. Alex Caceres (6-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC)
Line: Page -165, Caceres +135
Matchup: A job is on the line in this one. Page hasn’t won a fight since 2009, while another loss would make the man nicknamed “Bruce Leroy” the only fighter in the UFC with a .500 MMA record.
Pick: Caceres by decision
Flyweight bout: Chris Cariaso (13-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) vs. Josh Ferguson (12-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Line: Cariaso -345, Ferguson +265
Matchup: Both of these fighters go down to the UFC’s new 125-pound weight division after logging time in the 135-pound class previously. Cariaso should have a noticeable speed advantage, but Ferguson’s power is capable of changing a fight at any moment.
Pick: Cariaso by decision
Middleweight bout: Rafael Natal (14-3-1 MMA, 2-1-1 UFC) vs. Andrew Craig (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Line: Natal +150, Craig -200
Matchup: “Sapo” owns one of the more surprising two-fight win streaks in the UFC as the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt spent his first year in the octagon without a victory. He’ll have the submission edge, but Craig should have an advantage in wrestling and striking.
Pick: Craig by decision
Welterweight bout: Marcelo Guimaraes (7-0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Dan Stittgen (7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Line: Guimaraes -345, Stittgen +265
Matchup: Guimaraes was a Jungle Fights champion and one of Brazil’s top prospects. Submissions are his strong suit, a trait he shares with the Chicago-based Stittgen.
Pick: Guimaraes by TKO
Bantamweight bout: Raphael Assuncao (16-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Issei Tamura (7-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Line: Assuncao -200, Tamura +150
Matchup: Tamura, a Japanese fighter the UFC signed for its Tokyo card earlier this year, drops to bantamweight after winning his octagon debut with a knockout over Tiequan Zhang at featherweight. It’s a transition Assuncao knows well, as he made his bantamweight debut by defeating Johnny Eduardo last year at UFC 134.
Pick: Assuncao by submission