Faber, a mat alum of UC Davis, earned a unanimous decision over Iuri Alcantara, while former University of Oregon wrestler Sonnen scored a stunning first-round submission of former UFC light-heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Sonnen scores submission
After losing consecutive title fights in two weight classes, Sonnen won via guillotine choke at 4:47 of the first round.
“Using his wrestling to score an effortless takedown, Sonnen got Rua to the ground and kept him there the bulk of the round,” wrote MMAFighting.com’s Dave Doyle.
When Rua returned to his feet, Sonnen put the former UFC champ in a standing guillotine, maintaining it as they went to the ground, getting Rua to tap out less than five minutes into the five-round bout.
“I thought it was a hard fight. I’m not going to say I’m a better fighter than ‘Shogun.’ I’m just going to say that I beat him,” said Sonnen, who was an NCAA Division I All-American for the now-defunct Oregon Ducks wrestling program, placing 8th in the 190-pound bracket at the 1998 NCAAs in Cleveland.
Sonnen, known for an over-the-top personality and trash-talking of opponents, had nothing but respect for Rua.
“The guy is a former world champion. He’s going to be in the Hall of Fame,” said Sonnen. “He beat [Chuck] Liddell and Forrest [Griffin] and [Lyoto] Machida, and even guys I know and look up to, like Kevin Randleman and Mark Coleman [both former Ohio State wrestlers]. So it feels good, whether you squeak out a win or catch a guy in a good, tight lock. It’s the biggest win I’ve had.”
With the win, the 36-year-old Sonnen is now 28-13 in his MMA career, while Rua falls to 21-8.
Faber gets unanimous decision
Urijah Faber, who just missed out on earning NCAA All-American honors as a wrestler for the now-defunct program at California-Davis at 133 pounds in 2002, overcame a slow start to get judges’ scores of 30-26, 30-26 and 30-27 over Iuri Alcantara in a bantamweight bout at UFC Fight Night 26.
As Dave Doyle of MMAFighting.com wrote, “Somewhere around the middle of round one, Urijah Faber had enough… Alcantara scored an early throw and got the best of Faber for the first half of the round.
“But then Faber picked up Alcantara for a huge slam, and the fight turned from there. The rest of the bout was a vintage, all-action Urijah Faber performance, as he outworked Alcantara for a win…”
In fact, in its live play-by-play coverage, MMA website Sherdog.com had its own three experts score the first round for the Brazilian. The tide then turned, with Sherdog.com awarding the second and third rounds to Faber, known as the California Kid.
When asked about the rough first round post-match, Faber said, "I think he might have dislocated my jaw in that first sequence and I felt a sense of urgency.”
With the win, Faber, 34, now has a 29-6 career mark, while Alcantara is now 28-5 in MMA.
It was a winning weekend for former college mat stars. On Friday night, two-time NCAA heavyweight champ and 2008 Olympian Steve Mocco scored a three-round unanimous decision over Lew Polley at Resurrection Fighting Alliance's RFA 9 event in Los Angeles.
Listen to an audio interview with Mark Schultz, conducted by Eddie Goldman of No Holds Barred, where Schultz talks about the Foxcatcher movie, his MMA career, wrestling, and more.
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