UFC on FS 1 Rewind: Sonnen submits Shogun

Published on Sunday, 8/18/13, at 4:23 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

The Ultimate Fighting Championship was put front and center for Saturday’s debut of the new Fox Sports 1 Network. And the promotion delivered with authority.

The crowd in Boston was raucous throughout the 13-fight card, culminating in Chael Sonnen’s stunning submission win over Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua in the main event.

It wasn’t shocking that Sonnen won, but nobody saw a first-round submission coming. The books were certainly pleased because Sonnen had been the -150 ‘chalk’ for more than a month leading up to the fight. However, heavy action came in Saturday on Shogun, shifting him from a short underdog to a -140 ‘chalk.’

Prop bets for Sonnen to win by submission delivered a +450 payout (risk $100 to win $450). Sonnen was one of two fighters to be awarded a $50,000 bonus for Submission of the Night honors.

Sonnen rushed Rua from the start and put him on his back with a double-leg takedown in the first 2-3 seconds. From there, Sonnen maintained the dominant position for the next four-plus minutes.

With 30 seconds remaining in the round, Sonnen locked up a guillotine choke and pulled guard. Shogun desperately tried to escape but was unable to do so and was forced to tap.

In vintage Chael fashion, he took the microphone in the Octagon afterwards. Sonnen said, “I’m the man of the hour, too sweet to be sour, what you see is what you get and what you don’t is better yet. I’m the women’s pick, the men’s regret and if you went against Chael Sonnen, you made a bad bet.” (Best Shit Talker Ever!)

Next, he called out Wanderlei Silva. That fight could happen, but Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida took to twitter asking for Sonnen late last night. In his post-fight media scrum, Dana White said that there were options galore for Sonnen at both 185 and 205. We shall see.

As for Shogun, his career continues to head south and the possibility of another run to the title now looks doubtful. Nevertheless, I would think the matchup with Little Nog is still a possibility.

In the co-main event, Travis Browne withstood an early barrage from Alistair Overeem in the opening minute. The referee appeared ready to stop the fight on several occasions, as Browne was against the cage absorbing a flurry of knees to the body and right hands to the face.

But somehow Browne was able to weather the storm, while Overeem tired a bit after unsuccessfully going all out for the finish. Once Browne was able to separate, he started using his kicks to keep Overeem away and then started landing them.

As ‘Reem stood in front of him, Browne joined Anderson Silva (over Belfort) and Machida (over Randy Couture) in the front kick club by catching Overeem in the face and sending him to the canvas. Browne pounced with a pair of hammer fists to turn the lights out on the Dutch kickboxer.

Gamblers taking ‘under’ 1.5 rounds (went from -130 to -160 in the hour before this bout) cashed a winner. Browne hooked up his backers to win by KO for a +300 payout.

Browne, who closed as a +150 underdog, will certainly move up in the heavyweight rankings from his current spot at eighth. I would think he’ll land at fifth, while Overeem will likely fall to eighth or ninth.

Browne could get Fabricio Werdum next in a title eliminator or maybe he gets the winner of Josh Barnett vs. Frank Mir. I could see Overeem facing the loser of Barnett-Mir.

In a bantamweight matchup, Urijah Faber beat Iuri Alcantara by unanimous decision (30-27 twice, 30-26) as a -280 ‘chalk.’ Bets on ‘over’ 2.5 rounds were a winner.

Since he isn’t getting a title shot in the next 6-9 months, I would love to see Faber go up to 145 and take on Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar, but I doubt that’ll happen.

Matt Brown has won six consecutive fights after needing only 29 seconds to dispose of Mike Pyle via knockout. Brown swarmed Pyle from the jump and put him away quickly as a -170 favorite. The ‘under’ (1.5 rounds) was an easy winner.

In a perfect world, we would see Brown face Nick Diaz in what would be a stand-up war. However, I think there’s a better likelihood of seeing Brown take on Jake Ellenberger.

At the post-fight presser, Brown told the media, “I’m in this sport for one thing – to kick Georges St. Pierre’s ass.”

Pyle saw his four-fight winning streak snapped.

John ‘Doomsday’ Howard returned to the Octagon for the first time since 2011 to face Uriah Hall. Howard had gone 6-1 since getting cut by the UFC and faced Hall as the biggest underdog on the card (+350).

Howard captured a split-decision victory (30-27, 28-29, 29-28) over The Ultimate Fighter finalist, who is now 0-2. Hall has cost his backers nearly nine units in just two fights.

In the lid-lifter for the main card, Michael Johnson ruined Joe Lauzon’s return home by producing the best performance of his career. Johnson put a beating on Lauzon with superior boxing, utilizing his speed by darting in and out with combinations.

Johnson avoided a three-fight losing streak by winning as a +200 underdog. He now owns a 3-1 record in four career fights as an underdog. Lauzon fell to 7-2 in nine career appearances as a favorite.

Connor McGregor cruised to an easy win by unanimous decision (30-27 twice, 30-26) over Max Holloway as a heavy favorite. McGregor was greeted with a thunderous applause from the Irish fans in Beantown upon his entrance into the arena.

‘The Notorious’ met the hype in the opening round, baffling Holloway with an array of kicks and unorthodox strikes. McGregor was doing much of the same in the second round until he caught a kick from Holloway and executed a takedown. While passing Holloway’s guard, McGregor hurt his knee.

Therefore, when the fight was back on its feet in Round 3, McGregor took things back to the ground with another takedown. Not wanting to further injure the knee, McGregor worked from the top for the rest of the match.

This rising star in the featherweight loop will probably get a shot at a top-10 contender in his next bout.

**Octagon Extras**

–Browne and Brown shared KO of the Night honors for 50 large apiece.

–Michael McDonald took home an extra $100,000 for the Fight of the Night bonus and by garnering Submission of the Night (along with Sonnen). McDonald nearly took out Brad Pickett early in the first round with strikes, but Pickett has a granite chin and kept coming forward despite eating dozens of shots that left his face swollen. In the second round, McDonald executed a beautiful triangle choke from the bottom.

–The favorites finished with a 7-6 record, but the underdogs produced the most profit – by far!

–The ‘over’ went 7-6.

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