On Saturday, Aug. 17, the UFC made its debut on Fox Sports 1 with UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen from the TD Garden in Boston.

In the night’s main event, former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua locked horns with multiple-time title challenger Chael Sonnen. The Brazilian Rua hoped to bounce back from a decision loss to current No. 1 contender Alexander Gustafsson in December, while Sonnen looked to snap a two-fight skid that included losses to Anderson Silva and Jon Jones.

The main card also featured a heavyweight tilt between former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem and Travis Browne, a pivotal clash in the bantamweight division between Urijah Faber and Yuri Alcantara, welterweights Mike Pyle and Matt Brown, middleweights Uriah Hall and John Howard, and lightweights Joe Lauzon and Michael Johnson.

The 13-fight event kicked off at 4:30 p.m. ET with three bouts streaming on the promotion’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Four additional bouts followed on Fox Sports 1 at 6 p.m. ET, with the six-fight main card starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Sonnen submits “Shogun” in round one

In the main event, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Chael Sonnen squared off in the first main event fight on Fox Sports 1.

As soon as the fight began, Sonnen shot in for a successful takedown. But Rua stood back up, and by surprise, took Sonnen down. Sonnen reversed the position, returned to his feet, and threw “Shogun” back to the mat. Sonnen worked while in half guard, to full guard, then back to half guard while landing punches on top. Rua tried to stand, but Sonnen locked up a guillotine and pulled guard. Rua could not escape it, and had no other choice than tap out.

After the fight, as expected, Sonnen called out Wanderlei Silva to a fight as Sonnen will return to 185 pounds for his next bout.

Browne shows adversity, knocks out Overeem

Heavyweight titans entered the Octagon for the co-main event as Travis Browne locked horns with Alistair Overeem.

Overeem came at Browne in the opening seconds, and landed a solid knee to the mid-section. Browne countered with knees of his own, but after a wild swing missed, it allowed Overeem to attack. Overeem pounced on Browne with brutal punches to the head, then knees, one which was illegal as Browne was down but missed by referee Mario Yamasaki. However, Browne survived the onslaught, but the shots clearly took a tole on him. Just when you thought Browne appeared to slow down, Overeem left an opening and Browne landed a front kick to the face that dropped “Reem”. Browne finished him off with hammerfists as Overeem went out.

The official stoppage time was 4:08 as Browne picks up the biggest win of his career.

Faber avoids early scare, earns decision over Alcantara

Alcantara threw Faber to the ground seconds into the first round, and gained full mount position. The Brazilian smothered Faber while in different dominant positions, but when Alcantara looked for an arm lock, it allowed Faber to stand and earn a slam. Faber avoided getting choked, and reigned down strikes while on top of his opponent to turn the tables.

Faber began round two very aggressive, and landed an early takedown. From there, “The California Kid” landed elbows while on top, which gave him opportunities to attempt a guillotine choke. Faber kept him down for four minutes of the frame until Alcantara found a way to stand up, but Faber brought him back down to complete a dominant round.

The third round was slow to begin as Faber fainted with his shots, then landed another takedown with minutes remaining on the clock. Faber kept the pressure for the majority of the round until Alcantara attempted a desperation submission hold. In the end, Faber would escape and earn a decision win.

Two of the three judges scored it 30-26, with third seeing it 30-27, as Faber becomes one step closer to another title shot

Brown KOs Pyle in just 29 seconds

Welterweights went toe-to-toe next as Matt Brown and Mike Pyle looked to keep their hot streaks alive.

Brown came forward as soon as the two touched gloves, with intentions of ending the fight early. After closing the distance on Pyle, Brown rocked Pyle with a punch and followed up with more shots on top. A few punches was all it took as Pyle went out at 29 seconds into the first round.

Brown has now won six fights in a row, and is seeking a title shot if he keeps this streak alive.

Howard edges Hall in return to UFC

Ultimate Fighter 17 stand-out Uriah Hall journeyed to the hometown of John Howard for a bout in the 185-pound division.

Hall opened up the fight with a rare takedown, which shows he is working at expanding his mixed martial arts game. The middleweights opened the fight with a close first round. Hall was the aggressive fighter, which gave him a slight upperhand. Howard landed a couple solid punches on the feet, but Hall controlled the pace of the fight.

Howard came out looking to do more damage in round two, and worked on Hall against the cage. Hall escaped with a smooth reversal to hold the back of Howard, but was unable to capitalize on it. This allowed Howard to continue showing the judges this his round, and landed a takedown with about 30 seconds remaining.

With two rounds in the books, the third would decide the outcome. After countering each other with legs kicks, Hall shot in for a takedown attempt, yet was stuffed by Howard. Howard dragged Hall back to the mat, but could not keep him there with no damage done. Hall then answered with a takedown of his own, and he too did little with it. In the final 10 seconds, Hall attempt a type of kick, but Howard landed a big overhand right with his opponent down as the fight ended.

In a split decision verdict, Howard would get the nod in his return to the UFC.

Johnson dominates Boston’s own Lauzon

In the opening main card fight, Boston’s own Joe Lauzon took on Michael “The Menace” Johnson.

Even though it was in the hometown of Lauzon, Johnson didn’t let the crowd bother him. Johnson’s striking was the key factor in the opening round as he rocked Lauzon several times in the opening round. Lauzon was able to get back up when dropped, and made it out of the opening frame.

In round two, the edge went to Johnson once again. Johnson held the advantage in the striking department, and pressured the Boston native for another five minutes.

Lauzon needed to go for broke in the final round, but Johnson continued to batter Lauzon with strikes. Considering the fight never hit the mat for a large period of time, Lauzon wasn’t able to lock up a submission to end it.

Two of the three judges scored the fight 30-27, while the third saw it 30-25, all for Johnson.

Preliminary Card Summary

Two of the top bantamweights in the UFC went to battle in the featured prelim bout of the evening as former title challenger Michael McDonald returned after losing to Renan Barao for the belt to challenge Brad “One Punch” Pickett. McDonald tagged Pickett with heavy shots early in the fight, but the Brit ate them and was able to reach round two. In the second, McDonald found himself on the bottom, but managed to lock up a triangle choke to force a tap.

Max Holloway returned to the Octagon to challenge Conor McGregor, a, Irishman who came with a lot of hype surrounding him. The two went the distance, with McGregor gaining the upperhand in every round. McGregor displayed his striking skills when the two stood and traded, and mounted Holloway when the fight hit the mat. He improves to 2-0 in the UFC with a unanimous decision win.

Featherweight Steven Siler sent the rest of the division a statement with a vicious, first-round knockout of former WEC champion Mike Brown. Siler caught Brown with a counter right hand early in the contest and smelled blood. After swarming Brown, Siler delivered a barrage of right hands that forced referee Yves Lavinge to halt the bout.

Kicking off the Fox Sports 1 portion of the event, Brazilian featherweight Diego Brandao outlasted a very game Daniel Pineda to claim a unanimous decision. Brandao blitzed Pineda in the opening round with an onslaught of strikes, but was unable to put Pineda away. Pineda turned the tables in round two, mounting Bradao and raining strikes. In the final frame, Brandao dug deep and scored with takedown after takedown to take home the decision win.

In a battle of Ultimate Fighter veterans, featherweight Manny Gamburyan used a mixture of takedowns and ground and pound to overcome the reach and length of Cole Miller. Miller scored repeatedly with his jab on the feet, but Gamburyan was able to muscle him to the mat and control him throughout a large portion of the contest. The judges at cageside score the contest in favor of the Armenian fighter Gamburyan.

Light heavyweights went to battle next as Cody Donovan took on Ovince St. Preux. After Donovan found success with his strikes early in the opening round, “OSP” came back to score a TKO victory due to strikes. The official stoppage time was 2:07, improving the UFC record of St. Preux to 2-0.

To kick off the event’s online prelims, two former Ultimate Fighter competitors Ramsey Nijem and James Vick squared off in a lightweight contest. It only took Vick 58 seconds to earn his first win inside the Octagon, submitting Nijem with a guillotine choke.


Chael Sonnen def. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 4:47
Travis Browne def. Alistair Overeem by knockout (strikes). Round 1, 4:08
Urijah Faber def. Yuri Alcantara by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Matt Brown def. Mike Pyle by knockout (punches). Round 1, 0:29
John Howard def. Uriah Hall by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Michael Johnson def. Joe Lauzon by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)
Michael McDonald def. Brad Pickett by submission (triangle choke). Round 2, 3:43
Conor McGregor def. Max Holloway by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Steven Siler def. Mike Brown by knockout (punches). Round 1, 0:50
Diego Brandao def. Daniel Pineda by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Manny Gamburyan def. Cole Miller by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Ovince St. Preux def. Cody Donovan by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 2:07
James Vick def. Ramsey Nijem by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 0:58

Photo: Chael Sonnen (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.