Power Ranking the Stoppage Victories from UFC Fight Night 26
Oddsmakers for UFC Fight Night 26 are probably scratching their heads right about now after a night riddled with upsets and wild finishes.
The underdogs ruled on Saturday night in the UFC’s debut on Fox Sports 1. The night reminded fans that the cliché “anything can happen” will always stand strong in the MMA world.
The outcomes weren’t nearly as surprising as the finishes. A plethora of hardcore fans chose Chael Sonnen over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Travis Browne over Alistair Overeem.
But did anyone predict Sonnen would submit Shogun, a world-class Brazilian jiu-itsu artist, in the first round? Who picked Browne over Overeem by vicious front kick to the face?
UFC president Dana White should be all smiles as the fight card lived up to the bill in delivering one of the best televised MMA events in recent memory. Fans love stoppages, and they got plenty of them on Saturday night.
Here are the power rankings for the stoppage victories from UFC Fight Night 26.
7) Ovince St. Preux Knocks out Cody Donovan (Round 1, 2:07)
Cody Donovan learned the hard way that fights can turn around in an instant when dealing with an athletic freak like Ovince St. Preux.
After getting taken down early, OSP scrambled for a reversal and exploded inside Donovan’s guard with multiple unanswered left hands. He eventually found the off switch on Donovan’s chin at 2:07 of the first round.
6) James Vick Submits Ramsey Nijem by Guillotine (Round 1, 0:58)
James Vick unleashed his inner Jon Jones by countering a takedown attempt from Ramsey Nijem with a power guillotine submission 58 seconds into the first round.
The modified guillotine is becoming more and more popular in MMA, especially amongst tall fighters with long arms. It was a spectacular UFC debut for Vick, who improved to 5-0.
5) Steven Siler Knocks out Mike Brown (Round 1, 0:50)
After he contemplated retirement, former WEC featherweight champ Mike Brown’s UFC return didn’t go as planned.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 alumnus Steven Siler picked up the biggest win of his MMA career after stopping Brown 50 seconds into the first round.
Brown made the mistake of being overzealous in the stand-up exchanges, and Siler checked him with a massive uppercut and a few ground strikes to solidify the victory.
4) Michael McDonald Submits Brad Pickett by Triangle Choke (Round 2, 3:43)
There were shades of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard in the bantamweight bout between Michael McDonald and Brad Pickett.
McDonald’s opening flurry had Pickett wobbling around the Octagon like a drunk on a dance floor. It was an amazing display of heart that Pickett was able to withstand the early onslaught.
In the second round, Pickett seemed to regain control of the fight with a takedown and peppering strikes from top position, but McDonald proved to be just as crafty off his back as he was standing.
One mistake from Pickett was all McDonald needed to latch on a triangle choke and get the tap at 3:43.
3) Matt Brown Knocks out Mike Pyle (Round 1, 0:29)
Matt Brown continued to make his case for a UFC title shot after a blistering 29-second knockout over Mike Pyle.
A hard right hook followed by a knee was all Brown needed to sing Pyle his lullaby. Brown’s victory may have punched his ticket for a long-awaited shot at UFC gold.
If not, he has earned a crack at a legitimate Top Five welterweight contender.
2) Travis Browne Knocks out Alistair Overeem (Round 1, 4:08)
Sensei Steven Seagal would be proud after watching Travis Browne finish Alistair Overeem with the patented front-kick knockout.
Since coming to the UFC, Overeem seems to have reverted back to his form in PRIDE. He’s brilliant when he’s the aggressor, but as soon as the tide turns, he wilts under the pressure of any opponent consistently able to touch him with hands—or feet in this case.
After weathering an early storm, Brown managed to rally back and put Overeem away with a front kick to the face at 4:08 of the first round.
1) Chael Sonnen Submits Mauricio “Shogun” Rua by Guillotine (Round 1, 4:47)
Chael Sonnen talked the talk and walked the walk in his main event bout with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
At 4:47 of the first round, the “Oregon Gangster” submitted Shogun with a guillotine choke and bounced back from consecutive losses to Jon Jones and Anderson Silva.
For years, he has been criticized for deficiencies in his offensive and defensive submission skills.
Shogun, a world-class BJJ artist, seemed to be influenced by Sonnen’s inconsistent track record. He never respected the Americans's submission game and often left his neck exposed in bad positions. It doesn’t take a black belt to latch on a good guillotine.
Let’s just hope Wanderlei Silva didn’t really bet $100,000 on Shogun.