From the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, UFC on FX 4 takes place this Friday (June 22) and features 12 match ups in all. The main attraction is a surefire dog-fight between lightweights Gray Maynard and Clay Guida and the card is trisected amongst broadcasts on the FX channel, Fuel TV and Facebook.
Here's the whole shebang:
Main Card (FX)
Preliminary Card (Fuel TV)
Hatsu Hioki (26-4-2) vs. Ricardo Lamas (11-2)
Ramsey Nijem (5-2) vs. C.J. Keith (8-0)
Brock Jardine (9-1) vs. Rick Story (13-5)
Joey Gambino (9-0) vs. Steven Siler (20-9)
Matt Brown (14-11) vs. Luis Ramos (19-7)
Chris Camozzi (16-5) vs. Nick Catone (9-2)
Preliminary Card (Facebook)
Career-long middleweight Dan Miller is taking the plunge to welterweight after consecutive losses (Nate Marquardt, Rousimar Palhares). The AMA Fight Club rep is a BJJ black belt with serviceable boxing and wrestling, a strong Fight I.Q., excellent submission defense and a kitchen sink for a chin (all 6 losses are via decision).
More UFC on FX 4 Dissections
Ricardo "Golden Boy" Funch is a Brazilian who trains under Gabriel Gonzaga at Team Link. He made his Octagon debut at UFC 107 with a flawless 7-0 record that included a TKO over T.J. Waldburger, but has yet to find victory in the UFC after 3 outings (Johny Hendricks by decision, Claude Patrick by submission, Mike Pyle by TKO).
Continued in the full entry.
Miller and Funch are fairly similar in that they both have a foundation in submission grappling with adequate wrestling and striking. Past competition strongly favors Miller, who's losses were all delivered by top-shelf middleweights. However, don't overlook Funch just because he's winless in the UFC: he was surprisingly feisty in shucking off elite wrestler Johny Hendricks' takedowns and returned fire in the clinch with short elbows and knees, plus a strike stoppage over Waldburger is not easy to come by and he took the Pyle fight on short notice.
Miller is an all-business, blue-collar, 3-dimensional workhorse. He doesn't have the fastest hands, he doesn't hit the hardest and he does nothing flashy nor excessive; he makes you work hard for everything, he has an answer for every move on the chess board, he doesn't make stupid mistakes and his overall game is dynamic enough to offer little in the sense of weaknesses to exploit. He gets B+ to A- marks in basically every phase, position and aspect of combat, all of which is anchored by his cerebral composure and god-given toughness.
Funch has the heavier hands and is more fiery and aggressive than the steady-paced Miller, who is highly judicious in strike selection, rarely vulnerable and a highly intelligent fighter. Overall, Miller's salient advantage with defense and durability, his sleight edge in height and length and his proven status as a savvy middleweight are enough to give him the nod here. The X-factor will be Miller's cardio and output in his virgin run at 170-pounds.
My Prediction: Dan Miller by decision.
Bantamweight Dustin Pague seemed on the brink of extinction going into his UFC on FX 3 match with Jared Papazian, who'd given Mike Easton a tough fight in his Octagon debut. Amidst some improper warnings from the referee that pertained to pushing off the cage with the feet -- a perfectly legal move -- Pague was able to finish Papazian off with a 1st-round choke in an unexpected upset.
Now, exactly 2 weeks after submitting Papazian, Pague will step into the cage against Ken Stone as a late replacement for Francisco Rivera. Stone is a member of the renowned American Top Team, a former 3-year wrestler at Bridgewater State University (NCAA Division III) and a lurking talent in the division. To say he had a tough entry into the big leagues would be a massive understatement: he made his WEC debut against former promotional champion Eddie Wineland and was knocked out by a Godzilla-slam and then faced an even higher-ranked force in Scott Jorgensen for his UFC debut, losing by 1st-round TKO (ground and pound).
Looking beyond the end result of those contests paints a dramatically different picture about Stone: he was out-striking both Wineland (which is saying a lot) and Jorgensen before the highlight-reel finishes and also thoroughly dictating the action from his guard against Jorgensen. For a fighter with a wrestling base, Stone's stand-up fundamentals are rock-solid. A lanky southpaw, Stone has excellent footwork, he uses angles well, he has good timing, he unfurled a wide range of kicks (front kick, high kicks and a mean low kick) and, anchored by a crisp straight left, his boxing game is airtight.
While I don't feel that getting power-slammed from the top of the cage or crumpling under a Jorgensen jackhammer equates to Stone having a frail chin, his defensive tendencies are definitely a concern. His striking is quite fluid overall but his hands are held way too low and his head movement is static and predictable. Stone just seems to be the type who's much more focused on his implementing his potent offense than protecting himself.
Pague is also a gangly kickboxer with stiff hands and knees. Because of the duress of taking this bout on such short notice, I think it's an appealing match up for him. His prime directive should be finding Stone's chin in standing exchanges and I'm interested to see how the clinch and takedown battle plays out, as Pague hit a nice trip to ground Papazian, who trains under praised Judoka Gokor Chivichyan at Hayastan.
Thus far, Pague hasn't demonstrated one-shot KO power and the majority of his wins are by submission (8 subs, 3 TKOs), so I'm leaning toward Stone as the more technical fighter in all aspects. Neither contestant has ever won by decision, so a finish is likely.
My Prediction: Ken Stone by submission.