It wouldn't be misleading to say Travis "Hapa" Browne (14-1-1, 10 KOs) has never been truly beaten in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The only loss on his record came last October, when Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva capitalized on a freak hamstring injury during the first round of their "UFC on FX 5" encounter, finishing the then-undefeated fighter with a vicious barrage of punches against the cage.
Browne rebounded from the loss by making a strong statement against Gabriel Gonzaga at "The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale," reminding MMA fans that he's still one of the most promising rising stars in the UFC's heavyweight division.
At "UFC on Fox Sports 1: Shogun vs. Sonnen," Travis will get another opportunity to move even closer toward a title shot when he squares up against Alistair Overeem in the co-main event of the stacked fight card. A win against Overeem (36-12-0, 19 submissions) might even be enough to earn him a title shot.
It certainly was enough to earn Bigfoot a title shot.
Obviously, Browne has a lot to gain with a victory at UFC on Fox Sports 1, but he'll have his work cut out for him. Travis' striking has been his bread and butter over the years, with a majority of his wins coming via some form of knockout. However, Overeem is a truly special striker when he's focused, something Travis has never had to deal with.
Cheick Kongo is arguably the most technical striker Browne has faced to date, and Hapa didn't exactly shine during that bout. He had a hard time dealing with Kongo's kicks and knees in the clinch, two things Overeem is really good at.
Still, Browne couldn't be more optimistic heading into UFC on Fox Sports 1, and he plans to give himself a fighting chance by consistently looking for Overeem's chin come fight time.
"He's not as intense as I am. He's not working as hard as I am," Travis said during a UFC on Fox Sports 1 promo. "There's no way he can because I'm pushing myself to the limit, and I'm going to be the best. There's no way that he's prepared for that. … I'm ready to get in there, fight to the end. There's going to be one man that's gonna walk out of the cage with his hands raised and I'm ready for it."