SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 03: Andrew Craig of the USA celebrates victory during the UFC On FX middleweight bout between Andrew Craig and Kyle Noke at Allphones Arena on March 3, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
A trio of new bouts was reported today for the UFC's July 11th event in San Jose, California, which will serve at UFC on Fuel TV 4. In light heavyweight action, New Jersey-based grappling standout, Tom DeBlass, will face Canada's Nick Penner as reported by TheScore.com, while Renzo Gracie protege, Rafael Natal, tweeted that he will face Andrew Craig in a middleweight bout, and talented Brazilian, Marcelo Guimaraes will make his UFC debut against Dan Stittgen in the welterweight division, according to Globo's SporTV.com.
DeBlass, despite posessing an outstanding BJJ pedigree under Ricardo Almeida, made the decision to take his first UFC fight on extremely short notice against Cyrille Diabate in Sweden. Although he was never in danger of being finished, DeBlass's lack of a full training camp was evident as he quickly tired and was unable to impose his ground game against Diabate, who wound up winning the decision. Penner, who made his bones on the Canadian regional scene, also lost his UFC debut when he got TKOd by Anthony Perosh at UFC on FX 2.
Natal, a BJJ black belt better known as "Sapo", is surpisingly under a three-fight unbeaten streak under the UFC banner, having gone to a draw with Jesse Bongfeldt in late 2010, and then following that with two consecutive decision wins against Paul Bradley and Michael Kuiper. Craig surprised many at UFC on FX 2, when, filling in for Jared Hamman on short notice, he upset hometown favorite, Kyle Noke, in a decision win that saw Craig drop the first round only to come back and control the final two frames, unleashing some serious ground and pound on Noke.
The undefeated Guimaraes make his UFC debut after a successful run in Brazil's Jungle Fight promotion, where he held the welterweight title. A former training partner of fellow UFC fighters, Erick Silva and Paulo Thiago, Guimaraes is now training with Wanderlei Silva in Las Vegas. Guimaraes is notable for having tried out for TUF: Brazil, only to be signed to a UFC contract without having to go through the competition. Much like another Brazilian prospect, Ronny Markes, Guimaraes uses a strong wrestling game and a smothering top control style to wear down his opponent. Unfortunately for Stittgen, an Ohio native and Jorge Gurgel student, he seemed to be cannon fodder for young karateka, Stephen Thompson, when they both made their UFC debuts in February, and ended with Thompson KOing Stittgen via head kick in the first round.
The current card for UFC on Fuel TV 4, which takes place at the HP Pavillion in San Jose on July 11th, now includes:
-Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman
-Brandon Vera vs. James Te Huna
-Jon Fitch vs. Aaron Simpson
-Anthony Njokuani vs. Paul Taylor
-T.J. Dillashaw vs. Vaughan Lee
-Raphael Assuncao vs. Issei Tamura
-Chris Cariaso vs. Josh Ferguson
-Tom DeBlass vs. Nick Penner
-Rafael Natal vs. Andrew Craig
-Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Dan Stittgen