Sonnen takes care of Rua in UFC headliner

Chael Sonnen had struggled in his past two fights as he lost title bouts to all-time great champions in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

He found more success taking on a former champ Saturday night in Boston.

Sonnen immediately took Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to the ground and worked to a fight-ending guillotine choke in the first round of the light heavyweight main event of the UFC card on Fox Sports 1.

Also, heavyweight Travis Browne survived a brutal onslaught of punches and knees before recovering enough to knock out Alistair Overeem with a front kick to the chin late in the first round.

Sonnen had lost to then-middleweight champion Anderson Silva and light heavyweight champ Jon Jones in his past two fights but made quick work of Rua.

“It feels good. It’s ‘Shogun.’ The guy’s a former world champ, and he’s going to be in the Hall of Fame. He’s beat all these guys that I have looked up to,” Sonnen said. “It feels good whether you squeak out a win or you catch a guy in a good tight lock. It’s the biggest win I’ve had.”

Overeem came close to stopping Browne with a barrage of shots, but didn’t land the decisive blow to prompt referee Mario Yamasaki to step in. His exuberance to end the fight appeared to wear him down, and Browne recovered and got the victory later in the round.

“We didn’t know I was going to get my butt kicked for the first few minutes, but everything else went like we thought it would,” Browne said. “… I’ve never had my body shut down like that on me. The referee kept saying he was going to stop it, and I was telling him that I was OK.”

Bantamweight Urijah Faber appeared to be in trouble early after Iuri Alcantara worked to dominant position in the opening seconds, but Faber took over midway through the first round and grappled his way to a unanimous decision.

Faber, a former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion, remains unbeaten in nontitle fights between the UFC and WEC.

Lightweight Michael Johnson opened the main card with one of the best performances, as he landed several shots on hometown hero Joe Lauzon and won all three rounds in a unanimous decision.

“This was definitely my best performance, not just because of how I performed but who I performed against,” Johnson said. “I got booed at weigh-ins, and that’s all the motivation I needed to come out here in his hometown and do it right. Joe is one of the guys I respected and wanted to fight from the time I got into the UFC. He brought out the best in me.”

Welterweight Matt Brown extended his winning streak to six with a 29-second knockout of Las Vegan Mike Pyle, who had won four straight bouts.

After a spectacular appearance on “The Ultimate Fighter,” middleweight Uriah Hall fell to 0-2 in official UFC fights, losing a split decision to John Howard.

Hyped featherweight prospect Conor McGregor put on a striking display in winning all three rounds against Max Holloway in a unanimous decision to highlight the preliminary card, though McGregor suffered a second-round knee injury.

Also, former bantamweight title challenger Michael McDonald blasted Brad Pickett with punches before submitting him with a triangle choke in Round 2.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.

Covering The Cage Videos
Covering the Cage: UFC 222 recap
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC 222
Covering The Cage: UFC 222 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over the main card fights including Cris Cyborg keeping her title, Bryan Ortega's win over Frankie Edgar and Sean O'Malley fighting through an injury.
UFC 222: Fight Preview
Covering the cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang provide a preview for UFC 222 as well as their predictions.
Covering The Cage: UFC 222 Preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang go over the top fights to watch for at UFC 222 including Cris Cyborg and Brian Ortega.
Covering The Cage: Live Interview With Elias Theodorou
Covering The Cage host Heidi Fang talks with Elias Theodorou to preview UFC on Fox and becoming a ring boy.
Covering the Cage: Roy Nelson interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about the world of MMA as well as interview heavyweight Roy Nelson.
Covering the Cage: Feb. 6 Facebook Live
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss UFC Fight Night 125 as well as preview UFC 221 and UFC 222.
Covering The Cage: Ronda Rousey joins WWE; UFC on Fox 27 recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss Ronda Rousey’s move to WWE and recap UFC on Fox 27.
Covering the Cage: Jordan Rinaldi, UFC on Fox 27 preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to fighter Jordan Rinaldi about his upcoming fight and preview the rest of UFC on Fox 27.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 220 and Bellator 192 Recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap UFC 220 and Bellator 192.
Covering the Cage: Recapping 2017
Heidi Fang and Adam Hill go over their favorite moments of 2017 and pick their favorite fight, knockout and submission of the year.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap tonights fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Picks
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang give their picks for the main card fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Preview
Covering the Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang preview UFC 219 including Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.
UFC 219 media day staredowns
Ahead of UFC 219's pay-per-view on Dec. 30, the stars of the main card faced off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cris "Cyborg" Justino will face Holly Holm in the main event for the women's featherweight belt.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like