UFC Fight Night 26: 10 Memorable Moments from Shogun vs. Sonnen Fight Card
UFC Fight Night 26 brought 13 fights to your screens. The Fox Sports 1 debut show was a fantastic way to kick off the new 24-hour sports network.
Chael Sonnen and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua finished the night, and Sonnen got the best of that matchup. A first-round submission win impressed the crowd and pundits alike. Sonnen nabs a nice win over a top-10 light heavyweight to end his losing streak.
Travis Browne picked up a win to move him closer to a heavyweight title shot when he knocked out Alistair Overeem. Urijah Faber showcased his elite skills in an exciting bantamweight bout with Iuri Alcantara.
There were many more memorable moments from the fight card. There were plenty of finishes and some strange moments, too.
These are your 10 memorable moments from Boston.
Quick Night for James Vick
James Vick made his official UFC debut on Saturday night, and he didn't even require one minute of work.
Vick made his name known on The Ultimate Fighter by knocking out Daron Cruickshank, but he ended up faltering on the show afterward.
Ramsey Nijem left his neck exposed, and Vick cinched up a guillotine.
Quick way to open the fight card.
OSP Shows Power
Ovince St. Preux showed a lot of promise in Strikeforce, but he failed to impress in his UFC debut.
He changed that on Saturday.
OSP used his strength to roll Cody Donovan over on a takedown, and then blasted him with ground-and-pound. It wasn't the most technical performance from OSP, but it was effective. Pure man strength.
He still needs a lot of seasoning. OSP will have a long way to go in order to move up the ranks. However, more performances like the one at UFC Fight Night 26 will endear him to fans and earn him bigger paychecks.
Odd Ending to First Round of Gamburyan vs. Miller
Manny Gamburyan won a tightly contested fight with Cole Miller, but the memorable moment stems from the end of the first round.
Gamburyan was pressing for the takedown, and Miller was reigning down elbows from the side. The horn blew, and Gamburyan stayed down.
He was holding the back of his head, but the replay did not show an illegal strike. The whole process was odd. The doctor came in to evaluate Gamburyan, and the fight continued. Luckily for Gamburyan, he recovered from the apparent blows to grab a decision win.
Siler Finishes Brown
Steven Siler continues to show his improvement in the Octagon.
Mike Brown is a good featherweight and former WEC featherweight champion. Siler torched him.
Brown came forward, got clipped and Siler pounced.
On the mat, Siler dove in with a strike that landed flush to turn off Brown's lights. He landed one more shot for good measure. Brown awoke to protest, but he was out cold. Siler celebrated a swift victory. Thsi was one that will move him up the 145-pound ladder.
Rare Entrance for Prelims
Conor McGregor entered the UFC with significant hype. After destroying Marcus Brimage, it grew.
So much so, at UFC Fight Night 26, the UFC did something rare; they showed the entrances to his fight even though it was a preliminary bout. It was a nice addition, but shows they are putting a lot of eggs in the McGregor basket.
It seemed slightly odd, but we all love entrances.
McGregor was clearly the star of the prelims. He picked up a decision win over Max Holloway to move to 2-0 in the organization.
Michael McDonald Is Slick
Michael McDonald failed to capture the Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship against Renan Barao, but he returned in top form at UFC Fight Night 26.
The first round was all McDonald. He blasted Brad Pickett repeatedly with a couple knockdowns. In the second, he locked up a triangle-armbar attempt before a slick move got him the win.
Pickett defended the armbar, and as soon as he did, McDonald used that small window to tighten up his triangle. Once locked, Pickett had to tap. The No. 3-ranked McDonald got a top-five win over the No. 5-ranked Pickett.
There will be a title shot coming to McDonald at some point. It's hard to deny performances like the one on Saturday.
Lauzon's Face Gets Busted Up
Michael Johnson started off 2012 like a house of fire and faltered at the end of the year. He opened 2013 with his second straight loss.
The Johnson that showed up against Joe Lauzon is a legitimate threat in the division.
Good wrestling, good power. His combinations were beautiful. And they took a toll on Lauzon's face.
Lauzon was never a factor in this fight. He didn't threaten at any point in time, and Johnson bludgeoned him for 15 minutes. It was brutal. It showed on Lauzon's mug. There won't be a post-fight bonus check awaiting the Massachusetts native this go around.
It was a fine showing from Johnson.
Matt Brown Runs Through Mike Pyle
Less than 30 seconds and we may have a new top-10 welterweight.
Matt Brown made it six straight wins with his destruction of Mike Pyle at UFC Fight Night 26.
Brown came forward, clipped Pyle and finished on the ground. He got another finish in his improbable run up the ranks at welterweight.
After the fight, Brown used the opportunity to call out Georges St. Pierre. He won't be getting the next title shot, but there can be little debate that Brown is in the mix for a future title shot. Six wins in arguably the UFC's deepest division is impressive.
This is the kind of performance that will place him in the top 10 when the new rankings come out.
Travis Browne Stops "The Reem"
After weathering an early storm, Travis Browne got another win under his belt.
Alistair Overeem blasted Browne with shots early. Browne covered up well, responded to the referee and worked himself back into the fight.
Browne then switched his attack to high kicks. Eventually, he changed the technique to a front kick. That worked. A front kick connected and dropped Overeem. Browne followed up with unnecessary hammerfists until the referee stopped the fight.
It was a big KO for a big heavyweight.
Sonnen Submits Shogun
If you thought Sonnen would finish Shogun with a submission, then you must have made a random prediction.
Sonnen took Shogun down early and with ease. After a brief back-and-forth battle, Sonnen took Shogun down again. He worked from top position with effectiveness. Toward the end of the round, Shogun began to work his way up, and he left his neck exposed. Sonnen locked up a guillotine.
The former middleweight and light heavyweight title contender dropped down with the guillotine and finished. Shogun was forced to tap.
The finish was quite shocking, considering the fighters involved, but Sonnen got to display his underrated ground game against a top-10 light heavyweight. It was a big win for Sonnen.