SAN JOSE // Rising Ultimate Fighting Championship star Chris Weidman elbowed his way into middleweight title contention today with a stunning demolition of Mark Munoz.
Munoz, widely regarded as the number three ranked middleweight in the fight league, was outclassed by the 28-year-old New Yorker, who finished the bout with a brutal second round elbow and ground punches in the UFC on Fuel 4 main event.
And after the victory, Weidman admitted he'd set his sights on a championship fight.
"I want Anderson Silva," he said. "Every single time I've had a training camp, I've gotten a finish. Give me a full training camp, and I'd love a shot at Anderson Silva. I think I could do pretty good."
With long-reigning champion Anderson Silva having put away main contender Chael Sonnen again at the weekend, Weidman's victory could pave the way for him to face the Brazilian for the belt - though Silva is likely to face a defence against former Bellator champion Hector Lombard, should the new UFC signing win against Brian Stann next month.
Californian Munoz, fighting in front of a San Jose crowd, struggled to get into the bout from the opening seconds as Weidman took him down and kept him under control will grappling, before the vertical elbow in the second round left him dazed - and signalled the end of his four-fight winning streak.
Elsewhere on the card, Kiwi fighter James Te Huna defeated the returning Joey Beltran by unanimous points decision, while Aaron Simpson recorded a similar judges verdict over Kenny Robertson.
Francis Carmont defeated Karlos Vemola by rear-naked choke early in the second round of their bout, while TJ Dillashaw beat British fighter Vaughan Lee by first round choke and Rafael dos Anjos scored a unanimous win over Anthony Njokuani.
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