UFC Fight Night 26 Preview

ufc_fn26The UFC starts yet another era in their history as they will help to launch a brand new sport network from one of the biggest networks in North America. When the UFC moved away from Spike TV they were doing so to join a much larger network and reach a much larger audience. They would join Fox and would take over Fox, FX, and Fuel TV with multiple free events that would help grow the sport. Now the UFC will move to its new home at Fox Sports 1 and it will truly be their new home. The new network will begin on Saturday as they feature a day of UFC leading up to the first free fight on the new network. Fox Sports 1 will be a place for all sports but will also heavily lean on the UFC as the promotion will be a cornerstone for this new network. They will kick things off in a big way as a rivalry is finally solved when Chael Sonnen takes on Mauricio Rua in the main event of UFC Fight Night 26. As with every fight that Chael Sonnen has been in the rivalry started with plenty of talking. Like always Sonnen would try to talk his way into a fight after he lost to Jon Jones at UFC 159. After the fight Sonnen would claim that he needed to had some unfinished business with Wanderlei Silva. The fight would not take place but he would get a fight with fellow Brazilian Mauricio Rua that would be moved to UFC Fight Night 26. Sonnen was surprisingly quite leading up to the fight against Rua saying that he was honoured to fight a great fighter like Rua. The silence would not last too long though as he would eventually claim that Rua was simply the henchman for Silva. Sonnen claimed that he would walk through Rua on his way to a fight with Silva. Rua did not take too kindly to the words against Silva and the other fighters from Brazil that Sonnen has talked about. Rua is looking to shut Sonnen up for once and for all as he looks to use a win to bring him back to the top of the division. Sonnen may be on his last fighting contract after signing a 5-fight deal earlier this year that could be his last one. Sonnen will also be looking to make that 5-fight deal worth while as he has not had the best fights in the last few fights. His last two fights were both for titles but both were losses as Sonnen has been able to talk himself in to big fights but has not been able to do anything with them. It doesn’t help that Sonnen has gone against the two best pound for pound fighters in the world in Anderson Silva and Jon Jones. Now he moves back in the Light Heavyweight division and will look to make a big enough impact to earn another title shot. In his way is Rua who is coming off of his own loss to #1 contender Alexander Gustafsson and is looking to start his own way back up the ladder to face Jon Jones. Both fighters are nearing the end of their careers but they are not done yet as they will try to prove that they still have what it takes to be among the elite in the light heavyweight division. It will be a hard-fought match between a wrestler and a striker with one of the two men ready to take control of the fight either on the feet or on the ground. Every fight starts on the feet though and Rua has the advantage in that aspect and will be sure to press Sonnen from the start. As much as Sonnen will try to take the fight to the ground, and will likely get it there once or twice, Rua is experienced enough to keep the fight where he wants it. The fight will be a close one but Rua will come out on top with a Unanimous Decision victory putting him back in the win column.

The main event is a good one but it is preceded by a great set of fights to give Fox Sports 1 the proper kickoff. TUF star Uriah Hall will kick off the main card when he takes his heavy hands to Boston and tries to start his UFC career off with a win against a veteran and Boston native John Howard. After Uriah Hall tries to upset the crowd in Boston two welterweights on winning streaks will face off for their chance to move closer to a title shot. Matt Brown, 5 fight win streak, and Mike Pyle, 4-fight win streak, are two of the hottest fighters in the division. They will face off to try to continue their hot streaks and move up the ladder into the top 10. The stacked card will not end there as Urijah Faber will take on Juri Alcantara. For Faber it is a chance to get another shot at the Bantamweight title as he sits at #2 in the division behind interim champion Renan Barao. For Alcantara it is a chance to beat one of the best fighters in the division and move into the top 10 and start his climb up the Bantamweight division. Finally in the co-main event two heavyweights will face off in what promises to be a great slugfest. Alistair Overeem will be looking to try to come back in the heavyweight division after being suspended for all of 2012 and losing his first fight back to Antonio Silva. His opponent will be one of the most promising heavyweights in the division. after rattling off three straight wins Travis Browne would lose to Antonio Silva but come back to beat Gabriel Gonzaga in his last fight. Both heavyweights have the motivation to win and neither are known for their ground game. The first card on Fox Sports 1 is loaded with talent as the UFC looks to debut the new channel with a great show for all UFC fans.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Chael Sonnen (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

 

Main Card:
Alistair “The Reem” Overeem vs. Travis “Hapa” Browne (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

“The California Kid” Urijah Faber vs. Juri “Marajo” Alcantara (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Matt “The Immortal” Brown vs. Mike “Quicksand” Pyle (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Uriah “Prime Time” Hall vs. John “Doomsday” Howard (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

 

Undercard:
Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon vs. Michael “The Menace” Johnson (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Brad “One Punch” Pickett vs. Michael “Mayday” McDonald (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Conor “The Notorious” McGregor vs. Max “Blessed” Holloway (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Mike Brown vs. “Super” Steven Siler (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Diego “DB” Brandao vs. Daniel “The Pit” Pineda (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Manny “The Anvil” Gamburyan vs. Cole “Magrinho” Miller (Facebook)

Cody “Donnybrook” Donovan vs. Ovince Saint Preux (Facebook)

Ramsey Nijem vs. James “The Texecutioner” Vick (Facebook)

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