UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen Preview

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Sat, 17 Aug 2013
Boston, Massachusetts

The first time I wrote a preview for this, it ran to over 3000 words and I ran out of positive adjectives long before I’d finished covering the main card. It lost all impact, so I’m trying again.

Let me put it simply. This is one of the most stacked MMA cards ever put together, never mind limiting it to free TV or the UFC.

All it lacks is a title match (or two) and when it features five legitimate former world champions, a further two fighters who have competed for UFC gold, a clutch of TUF winners and finalists and is composed almost entirely of fighters known for their entertaining fighting style, that seems like a small thing to be missing.

Five of these fights could easily produce the next no.1 contenders in their respective divisions, three fighters here can already account themselves as legends in the sport with half a dozen more either well on the way or certainly with the potential to do so.

I don’t even have the will to break the matches down individually. It’s more than my tiny heart can bear. We have fighters who are notionally strikers and grapplers, but what EVERYONE on this card is, is a damn warrior.

If anyone here embarks on a lay n pray game plan, it will be DEEPLY out of character.

Look at the names below. Shogun Rua. Chael Sonnen. Alistair Overeem. Urijah Faber. Matt Brown. Joe Lauzon. I’m sold already. The real competition is gonna be which one of these studs takes home the most hotly contested Fight of the Night award in living memory…

Let’s not forget that John Howard, Mike Pyle, Uriah Hall and Travis Browne are all well known for bringing it, even if casual fans might struggle to mark the names.

Hell, even the PRELIMINARY card features the best Bantamweight in Europe, Brad Pickett against the last no.1 contender for that division’s title, Michael McDonald.

There’s also the small matter of Connor McGregor’s sophomore UFC box against the impressive Max Holloway, with awesome matches featuring former WEC champ Mike Brown against Steven Siler and TUF winner Diego Brandao facing Daniel Pineda.

It’s even starting a bit earlier than usual, which means there’s a fair chance that a UK fan like me might not pass out midway through the co-main event.

You want stats, background all that usual stuff? Nope. Check on Sherdog if you must but for this card, I just want to sit back and let the sheer joy of being a fan wash over me.

If you ever have a UFC party at your house, if you ever want to nudge a pal or family member to get into this sport – get them in front of the TV for this card.

It is going to be biblical. I guarantee it.

MAIN
• Mauricio Rua vs. Chael Sonnen
• Travis Browne vs. Alistair Overeem
• Yuri Alcantara vs. Urijah Faber
• Matt Brown vs. Mike Pyle
• Uriah Hall vs. John Howard
• Michael Johnson vs. Joe Lauzon

PRELIMINARY
• Michael McDonald vs. Brad Pickett
• Max Holloway vs. Conor McGregor
• Mike Brown vs. Steven Siler
• Diego Brandao vs. Daniel Pineda

PRELIMINARY (Facebook)
• Manny Gamburyan vs. Cole Miller
• Cody Donovan vs. Ovince St. Preux
• Ramsey Nijem vs. James Vick

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