Sonnen earned an impressive first-round victory over former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua by making him submit at the 4:47 mark with a guillotine choke in the main event of UFC Fight Night 26 at the TD Garden in Boston, MA.
Sonnen (29-13-1) took control off the fight from the opening bell, immediately taking Rua down and controlling him on the ground with his wrestling skills and pounding on him until he was able to get in position for the choke.
After the fight, Sonnen quickly went into trash talk mode to call out his latest target: Wanderlei Silva.
“I’m the man of the hour too sweet to be sour,” Sonnen exclaimed. “Wanderlei Silva, in three months, it’s you and the bad guy.”
Sonnen has been vocal for a fight against the Brazilian and would like to make the fight for the UFC 168 on December 28, headlined by the rematch between UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva and will also feature Ronda Rousey defending her women’s bantamweight championship against Miesha Tate.
Also on the show, Travis Browne put himself one step closer to a shot at the UFC heavyweight championship with a win over Alistair Overeem.
Overeem dominated Browne early in the found and landed hard shot after hard shot that had Browne hurt but he could not finish the fight. Overeem quickly tired and Browne was able to recover and knocked Overeem down with a front kick to the jaw and then put him away with two hard shots at 4:08 in the opening round.
With the win, Browne improved to 15-1-1 in his career while Overeem falls to 36-13. His UFC career could be in question with two knockout losses following a PED suspension and a high salary.
Elsewhere, Urijah Faber was in trouble early against the always dangerous Yuri Alcantara before he was able to turn the tide and control the remainder of the fight in an unanimous decision victory.
Alcantata got Faber on the ground in the opening seconds and almost got an armbar before pounding him with heavy shots for the next few minutes. He then nearly latched on a rear naked choke before Faber was able to escape and he immediately fired back with some big elbow and dominated the remainder of the fight.
Faber improves to 29-6 and has won his last three fights. The question will be what his next fight will be after he has had multiple title shots in the past few years but has been beaten in all of them. While Faber would like another crack at a championship, he has also expressed interest in superfights with Frankie Edgar’s name coming up in recent weeks.
Matt Brown kept his hot streak going by knocking out fellow welterweight Mike Pyle in just 29 seconds. Brown smothered Pyle early out and knocked him down with a right knee to chin before finishing him off.
Brown has now won six straight fights and moved to 20-11.
Urijah Hall continued to fall short of the huge expectations some have reaped on him in a split decision lost to John Howard.
Howard was able to outwork Hall who grew tired as the fight went on and slowed greatly by the third round, allowing Howard to take him down.
Hall has now lost back-to-back fight while Howard get the win in his fight UFC fight since June 2011 when the promotion cut him.
In the opener on the main card, Michael Johnson had his best showing in the UFC by dominating a tough Joe Lauzon for three round to easily earn the unanimous decision win.
Johnson bloodied and battered Lauzon in the fight two round with his standup game, continuously landing left hooks, uppercuts and elbows.
Lauzon looked a step slow in the right and could not keep up with Johnson who ended his two fight losing streak.
Other fights on the show saw bantamweight Michael McDonald get an impressive win by submitting Brad Pickett in the second round. McDonald landed a flurry of hard shots early on and knocking Pickett down several times in the first round.
In the second round, Pickett was able to get a takedown but McDonald was able to get him in a triangle choke and forced Pickett to tap out.
Heavily hyped Irishman Conor McGregor earned a unanimous victory against Max Holloway in his second UFC bout.
No matter where the fight went, McGregor was in control but could not get a finish. After the fight, he revealed thatr he hurt his knee in the second round.
Eight fight bonuses of $50,000 each were handed out after the fight by UFC President Dana While including fight of the night for Michael McDonald and Brad Pickett, knockout bonuses for Matt Brown and Travis Browne and submission bonuses for Chael Sonnen and McDonald.