Before UFC Fight Night 26: "Shogun vs. Sonnen" main card kicked off on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) tonight (Sat., Aug. 17, 2013) from TD Bank Garden in Boston, Mass., an entire seven-bout "Prelims" under card was broadcast on Facebook and FS1, respectively.
Headlining the "Prelims" portion was a fantastic mixed martial arts (MMA) matchup (courtesy of Joe Silva) between Brad Pickett and Michael McDonald. After delivering an exciting first round, McDonald got the submission win over Pickett in the second stanza.
Both men started off with boxing stances, trying to display their technical striking before both men started swinging for the fences. In an action-packed first round, McDonald rocked and dropped Pickett twice before "One Punch" recovered successfully. The lightning-fast McDonald dropped him once again and Pickett closed the round with a nice combination of his own but more importantly -- he survived.
Pickett came out in the second round with some big shots of his own, brushing off the first round. Pickett successfully scored a takedown but McDonald's guard was equally impressive. McDonald then got an opening from Pickett, trapping him into an armbar and transitioned into an arm-triangle. Pickett tried to fight it off but eventually tapped to the former Bantamweight title challenger.
McDonald looks posed for another title shot sooner than later.
The biggest story of the "Prelims" was the American debut of Conor McGregor. And it is safe to say the gigantic fan favorite's hype is justified ... for the moment. McGregor started off with his signature karate-like stance and both exchanged kicks with McGregor getting the better of the two with wild and unorthodox legkicks that kept on landing.
McGregor looked very calm and composed, relentlessly chasing Holloway, who deserves to be credited for keeping up with the "Notorious" one. Holloway clipped him a few times, but there was nothing damaging to McGregor's performance early on. McGregor did not ease up in the second round as he continuously battered Holloway with some kicks to the body and combinations coming from all sorts of angles.
Witnessing McGregor's ground game as well, the Irishman transitioned from position to position towards the end of the second and at the beginning of the third round, showcasing his versatility. McGregor mauled Holloway on the ground for the majority of the last round, showing everyone that all the talk surrounding him leading up to this fight was necessary.
McGregor is now 2-0 in the Octagon, but it would be nice if he now gets a big step up in competition -- he can surely handle it. McGregor confirmed a knee injury with Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview, which was the reason for his takedowns.
The crowd did not care, eating up every bit of McGregor's actions and words.
Steven Siler got the biggest win of his career -- and possibly the biggest upset on the "Prelims" -- by knocking out former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Featherweight champion Mike Brown. The winner -- who scored the fifth fastest knockout of in the 145-pound division's history -- caught Brown as he recklessly charged in after the American Top Team-trained product caught him with a good punch of his own. Siler flattened Brown with an uppercut and then followed up, knocking the seasoned veteran out cold.
It's a bitter pill for Brown to swallow, who protested to Yves Lavigne right after he regained consciousness. Brown was flirting with retirement in the past, with this bout being his first in 15 months.
The "Prelims" on Fox Sports 1 kicked off with Diego Brandao getting a win over Daniel Pineda -- in which Mario Yamasaki decided to cut off a portion of tape from Pineda's ankle wraps before the fight commenced. Both fighters exchanged hard shots, wowing the crowd early on. Brandao rocked Pineda with a couple of good punches and threw two flying knees but the hurt Pineda bounced back and continued to throw flurries of his own before the fight slowed down heavily towards the end of the first round.
Both fighters came out guns blazing in the second before Brandao went for the takedown and found himself in a scary situation but thankfully for him, Pineda could not secure the arm triangle. Things got worse for Brandao as he found himself on the bottom of Pineda's mount as the Texan threw down some vivacious ground and pound - making it one round a piece.
Brandao was successful with two early takedowns at the start of the third round as both fighters looked extremely sluggish. Brandao was successful with more takedowns but did not do much and simply lied on Pineda, which was much of the story for the third round.
In a featherweight battle of former The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 teammates, Manny Gamburyan got the nod over Cole Miller in the Facebook headliner. Gamburyan was throwing caution to the wind, unleashing his patented haymakers but he was not accurately connecting and decided to take Miller down over the course of three rounds. A bizarre sequence at the end of the first round saw Gamburyan stay down while Miller tried to help his opponent up.
Gamburyan was holding the back of his head and replays showed a sharp elbow connect with the back of Gamburyan's head. He was able to come out in the second round and Miller landed a nasty elbow splitting open Gamburyan on the top of his head shortly after. Gamburyan did well in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt's guard, as he landed some decent shots on the ground while he relentlessly tried to take Miller down for the majority of the second round.
Both men tried swinging for the fences in the third, each catching their opponent with some big shots, but Gamburyan was connecting with the more significant strikes before Miller delivered a great knee which forced Gamburyan to go for a takedown once more, and continuing his ground assault, tying Brown for the most takedowns in one fight in Featherweight history. This was the first out of four featherweight bouts on the "Prelims" with two competitors who have had more than 20 fights each.
The other Light Heavyweight scrap on the card besides the main event saw another impressive win from Ovince St. Preux, who knocked out Cody Donovan in little more than two minutes. Donovan rocked "OSP" early on in the first round and continued to work for the takedown, eventually scoring it, but "OSP" reversed it immediately with a sweep and started to rain down heavy leather from Donovan's guard before Herb Dean called a stop to the fight.
St. Preux is now 11-1 in his last 12 fights.
James Vick made his Octagon debut in the first Facebook fight of the night, and he could not have had a better start to his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career. Nijem was utilizing his takedowns early in the fight and had some trouble initially before he secured a takedown on Vick. As he tried for another one, Vick caught him in a power guillotine in which Nijem looked like he was in a world of pain and was forced to tap out.
Vick's UFC dream start continues his undefeated streak at 5-0.
Here are the complete results from UFC Fight Night 26: "Prelims" card:
Brad Pickett vs. Michael McDonald – McDonald wins by submission (triangle choke) 3:43 of round 2.
Conor McGregor vs. Max Holloway - McGregor wins by unanimous decision (30-27x2, 30-26)
Mike Brown vs. Steven Siler - Siler wins by knockout (strikes) at 0:50 of round one.
Diego Brandao vs. Daniel Pineda - Brandao wins by unanimous decision (29-28x3)
Manny Gamburyan vs. Cole Miller - Gamburyan wins by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28x2)
Cody Donovan vs. Ovince St. Preux - St. Preux wins by Knockout (Strikes) at 2:07 of round one.
Ramsey Nijem vs. James Vick - Vick wins by submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:58 of round one.
That's it for the "Prelims" portion of UFC Fight Night 26 fight card.
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