After two events in two weeks, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has a minor break in the schedule before their next event, UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen. Of course, by looking at the name, we can see that the main event of this card being held at the TD Garden in Boston will feature the former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua taking on Chael Sonnen. The card is heavy on former world champions from around the world as Alistair Overeem makes his first appearance in the Octagon since being upset by Antonio “Big Foot” Silva in February, Urijah Faber continues to work towards another title shot at bantamweight and Mike Brown looks to remain on his current hot streak.
Mauricio Rua vs. Chael Sonnen
The main event of the inaugural Fox Sports 1 card will see the former PRIDE middleweight and UFC light heavyweight champion Rua take on Sonnen. This is a fight that has serious title implications for Rua, while it is just another chance for Sonnen to keep busy in the UFC. With two straight title fight losses, the chances of seeing Sonnen compete for another title before his career ends is highly unlikely at this point.
Rua is coming into this fight in a shaky situation in terms of his career. Since the start of 2009, Rua has gone 5-4 and has currently alternated losses and wins in his past eight fights. Most recently, he was seen being defeated by Alexander Gustafsson via unanimous decision. It was a fight that earned Gustafsson a chance at the world title and dropped Rua down the standings in the UFC.
Sonnen is coming into this fight as the loser in two straight appearances in the UFC, both of which were title fights. He lost to Anderson Silva at UFC 148 for the middleweight title and then lost to Jon Jones in his attempt to win the light heavyweight title. For Sonnen, it is only a matter of time before he ends his fighting to career to be a full time on-camera analyst for the UFC.
UFC Betting Tip prediction: We don’t see either fighter regaining any of their previous successes, but at the end of the night, it will be Rua walking away the victor.
Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne
If it wasn’t for Chris Weidman shocking the world by knocking out Anderson Silva to win the middleweight title, the loss by Overeem in February to Antonio Silva would be the biggest shocker of the year. Competing in a UFC heavyweight title eliminator bout, most fans and pundits expected the former Strikeforce world champion to go straight through Silva on his way to a title shot. Instead, Silva pulled a fast one on the MMA community and got the KO win in the third round. It was the first loss for Overeem since 2007 and he will be out for blood when he takes on Browne.
The Hawaiian is coming into this fight with a 14-1-1 professional MMA record. In his most recent fight, he earned the KO win against former heavyweight title challenger, Gabriel Gonzaga. It took him just 71 seconds to get the win against Gonzaga and it was a win he needed greatly. In his previous fight, he also lost to Silva via TKO, ending his undefeated run.
UFC Betting Tip prediction: Browne is one of the best up and comers in the UFC heavyweight division, but whether he can hang with someone that has as much talent in the sport as Overeem remains to be seen. What will set Overeem apart in this fight are his kickboxing skills and he should walk away the winner.
Urijah Faber vs. Yuri Alcantara
Faber, the former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion is coming into this fight with the Brazilian, Alcantara, with a two fight winning streak. The 34-year-old now has a 28-6 career record and needed to get those last two wins more than any others. Before his current streak, he lost to Renan Barao for the interim UFC bantamweight title and a loss to Ivan Menjivar or Scott Jorgensen would have ruined his chances at staying at the top of the division.
Alcantara is a year younger than Faber and has just one professional fight less. He has competed inside the Octagon five times and holds a 3-1 (1NC) inside the Octagon. In his last fight, he defeated Iliarde Santos via first round TKO in his home nation. When he steps inside the cage to fight Faber, it will be his biggest challenge to date and it is a fight that both men have legitimate chances of winning.
UFC Betting Tip prediction: We here at UFC Betting Tip love the upset and for some reason, this fight is calling out to me as such. While Faber is more established to the MMA community in the states, all Alcantara has done in Brazil is win. We don’t know how it will end, but we think when a hand is raised at the end of the fight, it will be Alcantara’s.
Matt Brown vs. Mike Pyle
We decided to neglect the former WEC champion Mike Brown to talk about the former contestant on The Ultimate Fighter, Matt Brown. Brown is 32 and while his 17-11 record isn’t overly impressive, he has won five straight fights inside the Octagon. In fact, when the cage door shuts behind him, it will be the 16th time Brown has competed in the greatest MMA promotion in the world.
Pyle will be making his 12th appearance inside the Octagon, meaning he isn’t new to the spotlight either. Pyle has been one of those guys that will fight anywhere and it has taken him to EliteXC, Strikeforce, WEC, International Fight League and now the UFC. He has won four straight in the UFC and is coming into the fight with a 25-8-1 career record.
UFC Betting Tip prediction: In the battle of win streaks, Brown will be the last man left standing in this welterweight contest.
UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen will air live on Fox Sports 1 on Saturday, August 17, 2013.