UFC Fight Night 26: 3 Fights Guaranteed to Display Fireworks

Ryan Tolmich@@R_TolmichCorrespondent IIAugust 13, 2013

Overeem is always good for an entertaining fight.
Overeem is always good for an entertaining fight.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When the UFC partnered with TV giant Fox in the summer of 2011, MMA fans everywhere salivated over the thought of free fights on network TV.

So, naturally, with Fox launching their brand new 24-hour sports channel, Fox Sports 1, the UFC will take part in welcoming watchers with six-and-a-half hours of UFC programming, culminating in UFC on Fox Sports 1: Shogun vs. Sonnen.

Shogun Rua and Chael Sonnen are both MMA superstars who are hoping to bounce back into title contention. The headlining fight is sure to capture a lot of the attention, as fans love to watch two MMA greats lock horns.

However, this UFC Fight Night 26 card is filled with fights that will leave the casual fan cheering from his or her couch. Let's take a look at three fights from this coming weekend's card that won't disappoint.


Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne

Alistair Overeem is a controversial fellow.

After starting his career as a gangly 205'er, a heavy dose of "horse meat" allowed the powerful Dutch kick-boxer to bulk up to Herculean levels.

Success soon followed, as the 2010 K1 Grand Prix champion shot up the heavyweight rankings by defeating names such as Mark Hunt, Fabricio Werdum and even UFC golden boy Brock Lesnar.

However, after a less-than-surprising failed drug test, Overeem returned and was promptly knocked out in dramatic fashion by Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

Overeem's opponent this weekend, Travis Browne, is also a victim of Bigfoot's hit-list, which marks the only blemish on his stellar resume. Browne has gone on to defeat UFC mainstays such as Gabriel Gonzaga and Stefan Struve on the way to an impressive 14-1-1 record.

Both heavyweights are finishers and both can end the fight standing or on the mat. Browne has finished 12 of his 14 victories, with 12 coming from knockouts, including his brutal elbowing of Gonzaga.

However, Overeem seemingly has the advantage both standing and on the floor. Look for the giant Dutchman to bounce back with a TKO over the menacing Browne, boosting "Ubereem" back into title contention.


Uriah Hall vs. John Howard

Uriah Hall was supposed to be next.

After obliterating literally everyone in his path en route to an Ultimate Fighter finale appearance, Hall was supposed to be the guy to take down the mighty Anderson Silva. Talking to MMAjunkie.com, UFC President Dana White described his knockouts as "the most-feared guy coming out of 'TUF.' Ever."

Every guy Uriah fought wound up in the hospital. The first fight to get into the house, he breaks the kid's arm. Then he knocks out Adam Cella with an incredible spinning high kick, then he knocks out Bubba McDaniel and then Dylan Andrews had a broken nose. That's never happened in the history of 'TUF.'

Unfortunately for Hall, the pesky Kelvin Gastelum came in and ruined "Prime Time's" Ultimate Fighter dreams by doing enough to earn a split-decision victory over the highly favored Hall.

Hall will be looking to bounce back against UFC vet John "Doomsday" Howard, who is back in the big show after a two-year absence.

Howard, who will be fighting in his hometown of Boston, enters the contest having previously earned both a Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night bonus in his UFC career.

Look for this to be a showcase fight for Hall, as he puts his highly rated striking on display against the overmatched Howard. 


Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson

Is there a more exciting fighter in the UFC than Joe Lauzon?

When the human "of the Night" bonus fights, fans watch, as Lauzon has collected 12 post-fight bonuses, matched only by the mighty Anderson Silva.

Lauzon is coming off of 2012's Fight of the Year, a loss to highly rated Jim Miller, and is looking to get back into the win column in his matchup against Ultimate Fighter 12 finalist, Michael Johnson.

Johnson himself has earned a Knockout of the Night bonus for his 2012 finish of Danny Castillo, but the 27-year-old lightweight appears to be in over his head against perennial contender Lauzon.

Look for the always exciting Lauzon to be too much for Johnson, and don't be surprised if there's yet another fat bonus check waiting for him when he gets backstage.


Who do you think will win this weekend? Make your fight predictions with a comment below or tweet your winners at @R_Tolmich for some discussion!