The UFC’s highly anticipated ‘Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen’ card is about to commence live and free on national television from the TD Garden in Boston Massachusetts.
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MICHAEL JOHNSON (12-8 MMA, 4-4 UFC) VS. JOE LAUZON (22-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC)
Round 1 – The night kicked off with Massachusetts native, Joe Lauzon taking on Michael Johnson in a pivotal bout for both men, one that could mark a crossroads in their respective careers. Johnson came out aggressive, popping out a jab and lunging crosses on the follow up. Lauzon stayed patient and countered, using reach and experience to look for a significant opening. Johnson landed a clean combination that connected on Lauzon, boosting Johnson’s confidence. Lauzon now started to back Johnson up, forcing Johnson to change his own tempo if he wanted to strike. Johnson landed a stiff left hand on Lauzon that dropped him, but Johnson didn’t follow him to the ground. Johnson was cracked as he looked for the finish but stayed offensive and during a round that had tilted in his favor. Johnson landed on Lauzon yet again and never stopped swinging late in the round as Lauzon was visibly hurt. Lauzon stumbled around the Octagon with Johnson in pursuit.
Round 2 – Lauzon grabbed ahold of Lauzon in the early stages of this round as Johnson seemed to be quite comfortable on the feet. Johnson fought Lauzon off and separated from Lauzon without using up too much energy. Lauzon seemed to think that Johnson was slowing down as Lauzon advanced and caught Johnson. Johnson fought his way out of any real danger and even hurt Lauzon in the process, conserving his energy afterwards and engaging in a clinch of his own, separating after regaining his breath momentarily. Lauzon wanted to steal the round and chased Johnson down but was tackled by Johnson late in the round, likely giving Johnson a two round advantage.
Round 3 – Johnson’s slowed pace in the second worked out in the third as he unleashed a flurry on Lauzon, hurting him several times and taking control of the pace of the fight. Johnson peppered Lauzon, whose offense had apparently shut off. Johnson mixed his hands and feet effectively and felt fine to empty his gas tank late in the fight to assure victory over the veteran, Lauzon. Johnson was hit just two more times in the second half of the final round and scored another hard takedown on an exhausted Lauzon to finish out the fight.
Official Decision: Michael Johnson Defeats Joe Lauzon via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)
URIAH HALL (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) VS. JOHN HOWARD (20-8 MMA, 4-3 UFC)
Round 1 – Ultimate fighter season 17 runner up, Uriah Hall, took on a returning John Howard in a welterweight battle with two fighters looking to prove themselves and advance to the upper-echelon of the UFC ranks. The fight opened with a successful takedown by Uriah Hall. Hall postured up to his feet and toyed with Howard, eventually letting him up again. Hall used absolutely superior speed as he jabbed Howard and worked effortless combinations. Hall missed on a spinning wheel kick, similar to the one that made him famous. Hall’s chin was tested as Howard landed a hard left hook on Hall. Hall went the safe route and clinched up, working for what would be his second takedown, although he wasn’t able to. Howard came forward reaching wide with each shot and catching a standing knee from Hall, one that landed flush but didn’t rock him. Howard went for a takedown of his own late in the round but caught a knee on the separation. Howard landed another leg kick to Hall as he found consistent success with them
Round 2 – Howard had trouble with the range of Hall as he was landed on with his counter shots going wide. Hall shot in for a takedown but was caught in a standing guillotine, one that he made his way out of. On the break fro the brief choke, Hall landed two solid shots on Howard. Howard went in for another takedown and ended up pinning Hall against the cage, only to be reversed shortly after. Referee Yves Lavigne broke them up half way through the round. Hall threw yet another standing knee to an approaching Howard. Howard caught the leg and worked for a takedown but lost the advantage when Hall spun for a kimura and took Howard’s back instead. Howard fought off Hall and landed as Hall backed up away from Hall. Now, Howard wrapped both legs up and drove Hall down for his first takedown of the fight. Howard unleashed some ground and pound and did land on Hall but Hall composed himself well, ending the round with a stand-off as Hall threatened with an illegal upkick and Howard hesitated to throw anymore shots, as he ended the round on top.
Round 3 – Both man traded shots for the opening minute of the final round. Neither man set a tone early on in an even fight. They both exchanged powerful leg kicks, prompting a touching of the gloves. Hall went for the clinch right after that but it was broken up and the striking resumed. Howard landed his second takedown in this round as both men looked gassed. Hall reached out for Howard’s leg to sweep but instead used the hook to stand up, still in the clinch of Howard. Hall worked his way around Howard, facing him in the clinch. Hall ducked down for a good takedown on Howard. Howard stood up quickly and got away from Hall’s grasp. Both men touched gloves one last time as Hall and Howard threatened with spinning attacks, neither fully committing. Hall threw a somersault kick in the final ten seconds, missing and staying on his back. Howard jumped on him as one would off of a diving board in to a pool, hitting Hall with a punch on his way down and ending the fight in full mount.
Official Decision: John Howard Defeats Uriah Hall via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
MATT BROWN (17-11 MMA, 10-5 UFC) VS. MIKE PYLE (25-8-1 MMA, 8-3 UFC)
Round 1 – The next bout on the main card was a welterweight tilt, this one promising fireworks from the opening bell. Fireworks came indeed as both men looked to blast each other. Matt Brown came in in his usual aggressive form and landed a left hook followed by a straight right hand. A knee followed him to the ground. Pyle was nearly out as it was, grasping for air. Brown simply moved his legs to the side and dropped down a few shots, putting Pyle out for good.
Official Decision: Matt Brown Defeats Mike Pyle via Knockout at :29 of Round 1.
IURI ALCANTARA (28-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) VS. URIJAH FABER (28-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC)
Round 1 – Former WEC featherweight champion, Urijah Faber took on dangerous brazilian, Iuri Alcantara. Both looked to take a win home and climb up a crowded bantamweight division. Faber came out strong although he was counter-thrown on to his back. Alcantara got the mount and even went for an armbar within the first minute. Faber escaped but gave up his back. Alcantara kept raining down shots on Faber the entire time. Alcantara slipped off the top a bit but went for Faber’s shoulder. Faber got out and slammed Alcanatara, now ending up on top. Faber dropped elbows down on Alcantara who looked to defend his head while locking Faber in to his guard. Faber was clearly upset by the unfavorable start tot he fight and worked feverishly to weaken the defenses of Alcantara. Faber ended the round on top, throwing continuous elbows.
Round 2 – The action in this round kicked off with a missed head kick from Faber which was countered by a straight from Alcantara. Faber scrambled and the two tripped over one another until Faber was able to land a concise takedown. Faber dropped a hellacious knee to Alcantara’s body while remaining in control of Alcantara. Faber again utilized a sharp set of elbows on Alcantara. Faber almost lost control of Alcantara as he worked for a guillotine. Alcantara attempted to scoot out the side but was placed back down and opened up with elbows by Faber. Alcanatara fought his way back up and tried to throw Faber. Faber saw it coming, however, and instead threw Alcantara head first in to the bottom of the cage wall. Faber ended round 2 strong, landing even more elbows.
Round 3 – The fight became a measured one in the final round. Faber scored first, grabbing Alcantara and landing another takedown. Faber fought off sweep and escape attempts by Alcantara. Faber smothered Alcantara and never gave him a moment to breathe. Faber took a glance at the clock and turned up his pace in an attempt to finish the fight. Alcantara became desperate and was caught in a precarious position of defending himself while working for anything he could grab on to. Faber escaped and ended the round in side-turtle mount seemingly stealing this bout.
Official Decision: Urijah Faber Defeats Iuri Alcantara via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
TRAVIS BROWNE (14-1-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) VS. ALISTAIR OVEREEM (36-12 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Round 1 – The co-main event showcased the heavyweights with Alistair Overeem fighting for relevance in the Octagon after a brutal knockout loss and Travis Browne seeking the biggest win of his career and a major step up in competition. Overeem came out very confident, landing a combination ending it with a knee to the body and locking up a clinch. Browne landed a flying knee to Overeem. Overeem brought Browne to his knees and unleashed hell on him, landing knees to the head and body while smashing him with punches. Browne stayed coherent enough to keep the fight going and landed some shots of his own on Overeem. Overeem kept his violent streak going though and landed more body knees that landed with a thud. Overeem was gifted an illegal knee during the onslaught. Overeem and Browne went back and forth while Brown threw front kicks over and over, never really connecting at first. Then Browne finally landed one flush to the chin of Overeem, knocking him back to the mat. Browne attacked Overeem and pounded him out of consciousness.
Official Decision: Travis Browne Defeats Alistair Overeem via Knockout at 4:08 of Round 1.
MAURICIO RUA (21-7 MMA, 5-5 UFC) VS. CHAEL SONNEN (27-13-1 MMA, 6-6 UFC)
Round 1 – Our main event lost some weight and was set at 205 pounds. Chael Sonnen came off of a losing effort against Jon Jones back in April while former light-heavyweight champion, Mauricio Rua entered the cage looking to dismantle Sonnen and work his way to a rematch with Jones, the man who took his title. Sonnen walked straight at the opening bell and took Rua down with ease. Rua fought his way back up and took Sonnen down. Sonnen worked his way to the cage and locked in a guillotine. Rua escaped and worked back to his feet only to be thrown down by Chael once more. Sonnen stayed heavy on top of Rua and battered him with shots in his vintage style. Rua remained active and sat up with hooks on Sonnen as he tried to stand back up. Sonnen stood up but only momentarily as he avoided an up-kick and threw his fist back down at Rua. Sonnen looked in prime form annoying Rua with short shots and a smothering approach. Sonnen baited Rua to get back up while using it to lock in a guillotine. Sonnen kicked his legs up and around a now standing Rua and locked in a solid choke. Rua attempted to escape but was forced to tap.
Official Decision: Chael Sonnen Defeats Mauricio Rua via Submission (guillotine choke) at 4:47 of Round 1
Michael Johnson defeats Joe Lauzon via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)
John Howard defeats Uriah Hall via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Matt Brown defeats Mike Pyle via Knockout at :29 of Round 1.
Urijah Faber defeats Iuri Alcantara via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Travis Browne defeats Alistair Overeem via Knockout at 4:08 of Round 1
Chael Sonnen defeats Mauricio Rua via Submission (guillotine choke) at 4:47 of Round 1