Last night the UFC featured their first card on the new Fox Sports 1 network, and it certainly delivered from top to bottom. There were dynamic finishes, barn-burner wars and a lot unfolded last night. Let’s now take a look and see who the winners and losers were for the event.
Chael Sonnen-Sonnen is the biggest winner of the night, as he was able to get the best finish of his MMA career, submitting Shogun Rua via guillotine. Coming into this fight, it was clear that Sonnen was the better wrestler and had the better gas tank, but him getting the finish on a dynamic jiu jitsu black belt took many by surprise. It was a flawless victory from Sonnen, who was able to impose his wrestling early on Rua. Now, Sonnen makes himself relevant again both in the middleweight and light heavyweight division. After the bout, he went on to call out Wanderlei Silva, so it appears that fight is next, which should be an entertaining scrap.
Matt Brown-Brown delivered a sensational KO over the veteran Mike Pyle, solidifying his status as being a top 10 welterweight. Now, he is on a six fight winning streak, and is one of the hottest things in the welterweight division. Time and time again Brown has shown his ruthless standup, and if he can keep this going, he’s going to be fighting for the belt within a year or two. Up next for him is unknown, but a bout with heavy-handed striker Robbie Lawler would be simply fantastic.
Michael McDonald-McDonald proved last night that he was the superior striker and grappler, locking up a submission in the second round. It was a sterling performance from him, who needed a victory after his championship loss to Renan Barao. It looks like McDonald finally has everything working well in terms of his training, and it was amazing to see him drop Brad Pickett on several occasions. For his efforts, McDonald was able to snag Fight-Of-The-Night, and truly becoming one of the fiercest bantamweights in the world.
Travis Browne-Browne was getting dominated early by Alistair Overeem, and it looked like the knees were adding up. However, Browne collected himself and started throwing up kicks one after the other. One finally landed, sending Overeem out and to the canvas. This is quite possibly one of the best kicks ever landed by a heavyweight, and Browne is showing he has what it takes to challenge for the belt. Amazing heart from Browne, proving he’s one of the best in the world.
Alistair Overeem-The biggest loser of the night is Overeem. Just like his bout with Antonio Silva, he was dominating early in the fight. After a barrage of punches, it appeared he didn’t have anything left in the gas tank, and he paid for it, yet again, against Browne. It may be time for Overeem to hang up the gloves. He simply can’t take a punch and has cardio issues along with some defensive deficiencies.
Shogun Rua-Rua looked great coming into this fight. He even trained with world renown boxing trainer, Freddie Roach, to shore up some of his boxing techniques. This was to no avail, however, as Sonnen dominated him in the grappling department from start to finish. Just like Overeem, Rua may want to consider retiring as well, unless he simply wants to take on marquee fights to earn some money over the next couple years. It’s clear he will never threaten for the belt, but he’s a legend of the sport and has the right to do whatever he wants from here on.
Mike Pyle-This was probably Pyle’s last chance to make a run for the belt, so it’s heartbreaking for him to come up short against Brown, who use to train with him in the past. Like Brown said in his post-fight press conference, Pyle is a world beater in the gym, but sometimes has a hard time putting everything together once he steps inside the cage. He got stopped by Brown in devastating fashion, but he will always be an exciting welterweight to watch wherever he goes from here.