Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman To Headline UFC on FUEL 4

Undefeated prospect Chris Weidman (8-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), who in his last fight defeated veteran Demian Maia on FOX after taking the fight on 10 days’ notice, has been signed to the biggest challenge of his professional career. It was announced on FUEL TV’s "UFC Tonight" that the resident of Garden City, N.Y., and Matt Serra-Ray Longo student will headline the network’s fourth show on July 11 when he takes on top middleweight Mark Munoz (12-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC).

A locale for the event is yet to be determined, but the host city will be treated to a showdown between two NCAA collegiate wrestling standouts. Ironically, it was an injury to Munoz that forced him out of his UFC on FOX 2 match against Michael Bisping and opened the door for Weidman to step in and defeat Maia via unanimous decision for his fourth UFC win in less than 11 months.

All this after wicked weight cut of 32 pounds in 10 days.

"I was so delirious I actually took, right next to the boiling pot was a regular gallon of water," Weidman told me for a story running in the current TapouT magazine. "I took that and filled my cup. I was drinking cold coffee without realizing it. I was out of my mind.

"It was so easy to make excuses on why it’s OK to lose this fight, but I refused to do it. It was the hardest thing I did in my life. I will never do that again."

Weidman’s previous two opponents failed to make it out of Round 1, and after surviving Maia during a bout in which the cut took its toll by the third, the Hofstra University graduate will receive two-and-half months of training to prepare for Munoz, a 2001 national champion at Oklahoma State, owner of a four-fight win streak and 7-1 mark in his last eight fights. A win by Munoz could secure a title shot at the winner of Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen II. If Weidman prevails, he may need one or two more bouts against a top contender – Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard has been signed by the UFC – but confidence is high enough in the Weidman camp to believe his style is capable of giving Silva fits.

Considering how Sonnen neutralized Silva for four-and-a-half rounds with superior wrestling in their first fight, that’s not misguided confidence.

"He’s in your face," Longo said. "He’s a problem. And he has a great chin. I don’t know how (Silva) wins the fight."

— Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC
— See more MMA coverage at MMAMania

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