The Ultimate Fighting Championship took another steps towards mainstream success on Saturday when the event was the central show piece of the Fox Sports 1 debut. Being the central display of a newly launched sports network gave the UFC an opportunity to show the world that it's much more than many have it played out to be. In the end, the first card on Fox Sports 1 can be considered a major success from start to finish.
The top of the card gave the UFC a chance to show off their best talker as Chael Sonnen submitted former light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the first round of their fight. Both fighters were able to score take downs in the first frame, but Sonnen gained dominate position while in half guard. “Shogun” fought to his feet but in doing so he made the mistake of leaving his head in position for Sonnen to lock in a guillotine choke. Rua struggled for a minute but the fight came to an end at the 4:47 mark.
Chael didn't waste a minute in celebrating as he called out Wanderlei Silva, who has been looking impressive as of late.
The co-main event also featured a first round stoppage as Travis Browne earned his biggest win to date when he finished off Alistair Overeem with strikes in their heavyweight tilt.
Overeem scored first with knees to the body that would drop Browne but the former Strikeforce and Dream champion was unable to finish the fight. Browne would get back to his feet and start returning with his own shots that would start to chip away at “The Reem.” Browne would land a front kick that dropped Alistair and allowed him to finish off his opponent with hammer fists. Mario Yamasaki called the fight at 4:08 of the first round.
Urijah Faber pushed his win streak to three straight victories with a decision win over Iuri Alcantara. He stayed behind constant take downs with ground and pound to keep the fight where he wanted.
Alcantara did not go away easily though as he found a way to land in mount in the first round of this bout and threaten the former WEC champion with an arm bar. Faber was able to escape and turned the fight in his favor from that point out to get his third win of the year.
Mike Brown continued to cement himself as the people's champion of mixed martial arts as he needed just 29 seconds to dispatch of Mike Pyle. Brown came out swarming Pyle with shots and clipped him hard enough to drop him down to the canvas. “The Immortal” then jumped in and finished him off with a pair of shots that brought the fight to a close.
With that win Brown earned his sixth straight win, five of which have come via stoppage and brought Pyle's four fight win streak to a close.
The first MMA event on Fox Sports 1 gave fight fans finishes and exciting bouts across the board. As the UFC continues to build itself into a mainstream sports vessel, putting the promotion among the “big boys” of the professional sports industry.
Chael Sonnen defeats Mauricio Rua via submission at 4:47 of round one.
Travis Browne defeats Alistair Overeem via knockout at 4:08 of round one.
Urijah Faber defeats Iuri Alcantara via unanimous decision.
Matt Brown defeats Mike Pyle via knockout at 29 seconds of round one.
John Howard defeats Uriah Hall via split decision.
Michael Johnson defeats Joe Lauzon via unanimous decision.
Michael McDonald defeats Brad Pickett via submission at 3:43 of round two.
Conor McGregor defeats Max Holloway via unanimous decision.
Steven Siler defeats Mike Thomas Brown via knockout at 50 seconds in round one.
Diego Brandao defeats Daniel Pineda via unanimous decision.
Manny Gamburyan defeats Cole Miller via unanimous decision.
Ovince St. Preux defeats Cody Donovan via knockout at 2:07 of round one.
James Vick defeats Ramsey Nijem via submission at 58 seconds of round one.