UFC on Fox Sports 1: Shogun vs. Sonnen was one of those special events that left MMA fans feeling like they got their money’s worth.
To make things even better, the fight card was free.
UFC on Fox Sports 1 — aka UFC Fight Night 26 — had a little bit of everything, from vicious knockouts to entertaining three-round exchanges. Some fighters shined at the event, while others buckled under the pressure.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from the inaugural UFC on Fox Sports 1 fight card held on Aug. 17 at the TD Garden in Boston, Mass:
“The American Gangster” finally secured his first victory against a former UFC champion on Saturday, dominating Mauricio “Shogun” Rua with his tight top game before finishing the Brazilian off with a guillotine choke late in the first round.
With the win against a solid name like Shogun, Sonnen reminded MMA fans that he can back up his words at times, and his future inside the Octagon looks bright with potential fights against recognizable names like Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort on the horizon.
Oddsmakers, MMA writers, and fans always seem to underestimate Siler, but “Super” once again defied the odds. He needed only 50 seconds to dispatch Mike Brown, a former WEC champion with a pair of wins against Urijah Faber, making it clear he’s a force to be reckoned with in the UFC’s featherweight division.
Johnson desperately needed a win at UFC on Fox Sports 1, and he delivered an excellent performance against Lauzon. Johnson showcased his ever improving striking, while using his wrestling to force a standup battle and score points at the end of rounds.
With the win, Johnson’s spot on the UFC’s roster remains secure.
“The California Kid” struggled during the opening minutes of his bout against Alcantara, but he turned things around during the final minutes of the first round. He went on to put on a dominant grappling clinic against the very talented Brazilian during the latter rounds, cruising on to a unanimous decision.
It wouldn’t be surprising to find Faber fighting for a title — once again — in the near future.
“The immortal” lived up to his moniker at UFC Fight Night 26, knocking Mike Pyle out cold 29 seconds into their encounter. With the win, Brown moves closer to a welterweight title shot, as he’s earned the right to face one of the top 170-pounders in the UFC.
Notable mentions: Michael McDonald, Travis Browne, James Vick, Ovince St. Preux, Conor McGregor, John Howard.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Shogun dropped consecutive bouts for the first time in his professional MMA career at UFC on Fox Sports 1, losing to Sonnen via guillotine choke. It was the first time Rua had been submitted in almost six years, and the UFC’s brass will likely pressure him to consider retirement if he loses his next outing.
For the most part, Overeem dominated his bout against Browne, landing hard shots at will. However, his defense and footwork got sloppier as the fight progressed, and “Hapa” capitalized, finishing Overeem off with a front kick that dropped the Dutchman, followed up with a couple of hard punches on the ground.
Overeem has now lost consecutive bouts he was clearly winning, removing “The Demolition Man” from the UFC’s heavyweight title picture.
Lauzon was the favorite going into UFC Fight Night 26, but he ended up getting outclassed by Johnson. Joe had his moments during the second round, but for the most part, his gameplan simply wasn’t effective against Johnson.
Most probably think Hall deserves to be on the losers’ list, but that wouldn’t be fair. Sure, Hall was a 5:1 favorite going into UFC on Fox Sports 1, but most hardcore MMA fans knew that line was a joke. Howard is a battle-tested mixed martial arts veteran who has tangled with better fighters than Hall in the past, so it really wasn’t that surprising “Doomsday” walked away with the split decision.