There's a hundred different takeaways left for us to discuss from Saturday night's debut on FOX Sports 1, but before we get to the goods, let's briefly take care of some housekeeping.
Alistair Overeem entered the UFC in late-2011 and wasted little time proving he was the next big thing. A multi-sport champion with a superhuman physique, the behemoth "Reem" destroyed Brock Lesnar with such preposterous ease, it all but guaranteed his UFC road would be paved in gold.
But now that moment in time seems so far away. With Overeem's resume tarnished by two consecutive knockout losses, each one a thunderous ‘Comeback of the Year' candidate in its own right, UFC President Dana White is left only to shake his head at the squandered potential of the 33-year-old.
"No," White responded when asked in Saturday's aftermath if Overeem's signing was a mistake.
"I mean, you guys especially, all thought that he was the best at one time. He had a big following. You bring a guy like that in and you see what happens. We bring in the best guys in the world, guys who are supposedly the best in the world, and we find out. That's what we do."
At this point White isn't sure what lies in the immediate future for Overeem, a high-priced commodity suddenly hovering on the fringes of the top-10. When asked if the UFC plans to cut him, White simply responded, "I have no idea."
Regardless, the fact that we've reached this point with Overeem -- considering his stature 18 short months ago and how he managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of certain victory not just once, but twice -- is a testament to just how wild and unforgiving this sport we obsess over can really be. It's a cold world out there, and Overeem's undoubtedly starting to feel a little frosty himself.
Anyway folks, let's get what we came here for.
7 MUST-READ STORIES
Sonnen wins, has options. Chael Sonnen steamrolled through Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, coaxing a tapout via guillotine choke at 4:47 of the first round at UFC Fight Night 26's main event. (Video.) The loss sent Shogun into the first two-fight losing skid of his career, and marked the first time the Brazilian had been stopped inside the first round since he broke his arm fighting Mark Coleman in 2006. Afterward Sonnen channeled his inner "Superstar" Billy Graham, calling out Wanderlei Silva. Although Sonnen may have options, as both Vitor Befort and Lyoto Machida quickly returned the favor.
Browne storms back. After surviving a series of harrowing exchanges which nearly ended the fight, including an illegal knee to the head, Travis Browne stormed back and knocked out Alistair Overeem with a thunderous front kick 4:08 into the opening frame of UFC Fight Night 26's co-main event. (Video.) Afterward Browne admitted his body was shutting down during the onslaught, but was glad Mario Yamasaki allowed the fight to continue because he's "a tough S.O.B."
Diaz vs. Machida off. That bizarre Nick Diaz vs. Lyoto Machida match-up? Well, it ain't happening. "That was a bad idea," UFC President Dana White said. "Diaz didn't turn it down. There's other things going on with Diaz."
Brown makes a statement. It's getting harder and harder to ignore Matt Brown. The 32-year-old welterweight smashed Mike Pyle in 29 seconds at UFC Fight Night 26, seizing a $50,000 bonus and extending his current streak to six straight wins with five finishes. (Video.) Brown called out Georges St-Pierre in the immediate aftermath, but later said he'd like to take a mini-break before returning to action.
White sours on Hall. The Uriah Hall hype train is officially off the rails. Hall lost a high-five filled split decision to John Howard at UFC Fight Night 26, marking Hall's second consecutive UFC loss after he ran roughshod over the TUF 17 house. Howard later stated his intentions to remain in the middleweight division despite his 5-foot-7 stature, while Dana White said of Hall, "I love Uriah Hall. I have a great relationship with this kid. He's one of the nicest human beings you can ever meet. He's not a fighter, man."
McGregor dominantes, injures knee. He didn't get the finish he wanted, but Conor McGregor utterly dominated Max Holloway on the Fight Night 26 preliminary card, claiming a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) despite suffering a knee injury midway through round two.
UFC Fight Night 26 ratings. Saturday night's UFC Fight Night 26 card drew a 1.38 rating and 1.78 million viewers to FOX Sports 1, an impressive number which "beat all four major networks on Saturday night in the key demographics."
Like him or not, this man knows what he's doing. "Superstar" would be proud.
In case you missed it, catch up on all the nuggets from Saturday's post-fight scrum:
Unless you feel like watching Wanderlei Silva talk to some guy for five minutes, you might as well jump to 5:10 to see his reaction to Chael Sonnen's first-round victory. If only this video stretched through Sonnen's post-fight speech...
Tommy Toe Hold on a Monday?! What is this sorcery?
This has nothing to do with anything -- but guys, it's really awful tag-team heavyweight MMA. Need I say more?
Tito Ortiz hit Rampage Jackson with a hammer on TNA. This is all still incredibly bizarre to me.
Okay, fine. We'll end with something that actually has the potential to be entertaining.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
@sonnench don't run from me. Why are u asking for wand? Let's fight.— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) August 18, 2013
Enough is enough... I want to fight @sonnench for the whole country of Brazil! Name a time, name a date and bring your face!— Phil Davis (@PhilMrWonderful) August 18, 2013
Reem should have known "Crane Kick" done right no can defend— Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) August 18, 2013
Browne is tough! Not too many people on the planet could survive that barrage from Overeem. That's a big strong dude to have beating on ya!— Chris Clements (@menaceclements) August 18, 2013
You think A-Rod and Alistair shop at the same grocery store?— Jackson's MMA (@JacksonsMMA) August 18, 2013
Gassed in 2:38 that was a record!!— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) August 18, 2013
How many times Overeem gotta disrespect 260+ pound trained killers? #UFConFOXSports1— Marcelino Evil (@KCBanditMMA) August 18, 2013
MATT. F--KING. BROWN.
Wow brown again shows he belongs! We need to get this guy a top 5 opponent.— Jamie Varner (@jamievarner) August 18, 2013
Matt brown deserves a title shot for sure... But him vs Carlos confit would be an amazing fight.— michael (@bisping) August 18, 2013
TUF 17 SEEMS SO LONG AGO
HORRIBLE!!!!!!! The high 5 fight of the night WTF— Dana White (@danawhite) August 18, 2013
Yves Edwards (@thugjitsumaster) August 18, 2013
I bet you Matt Brown ain't handing out fucking high fives like he need extra followers on twitter and shit #UFCFightNight— Mackens Semerzier (@MackDaMenaceMMA) August 18, 2013
SOMEONE'S A FAN
@TheNotoriousMMA is now officially one of my fav fighters to watch, couldn't look away the whole fight— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) August 18, 2013
Thank you everyone for the congrats! Ready to get back to the drawing board and keep improving!!! #PHW— Travis Browne (@travisbrowneMMA) August 18, 2013
In good spirits but bummed of course about the loss! Many thanks to the fans for their support! After a short holiday well be back at it!— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) August 18, 2013
Urijah Faber (@UrijahFaber) August 18, 2013
Finally got to talk to Joe! http://t.co/QMKmzG7LdW— Matthew brown (@IamTheImmortal) August 19, 2013
@JoeLauzon I've always been a fan of urs and it was an honor fighting one of the best in the world— Michael Johnson (@FollowTheMenace) August 18, 2013
@UriahHallMMA great fight man two Hard hitting Strikers going at it that's a fight I love to be in!— JohnDoomsdayHoward (@JohnDoomsday) August 18, 2013
@UriahHallMMA now let's play some tekken.— JohnDoomsdayHoward (@JohnDoomsday) August 18, 2013
@mikebrownmma thank you really was an honor just to be in the cage with you— Steven Siler (@Stevesiler) August 18, 2013
Michael McDonald (@MaydayMcDonald) August 18, 2013
I came for the finish. Anything else is a loss to me.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) August 18, 2013
After the fights I wasted 4 hours at a hospital because of this bad boy lol not cool http://t.co/TAV4NAYk6L— Jerome-Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) August 18, 2013
James Vick (@JamesVickMMA) August 18, 2013
Im sorry to let everyone down. Ovince is a beast. Congrats to him. @003_OSP— Cody Donovan (@donnybrookcody) August 17, 2013
Manny Gamburyan (@MannyGamburyan) August 18, 2013
Just got told by @lorenzofertitta he was surprised by the decision that's all I need to hear.— Cole Miller (@colemillerATT) August 17, 2013
Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) August 18, 2013
Announced over the weekend (Friday, August 16, 2013 - Sunday, August 18, 2013):
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees a guy2 dissect: Finishes from Last Night: UFC on Fox Sports 1 Analysis
In the aftermath of one of the most exciting fight nights ever there's a lot to talk about. While fights like McGregor vs Holloway and Brandao vs Pineda (which I will be writing about) were great, they can't quite match the explosion that occurred each time a shocking finish punctuated a fun fight. So let's talk about the highlight reel moments and break down the finishes from last night.
Steven Siler vs Mike Brown
Well, this was a quick one. In a match-up between two men who each have over 30 career fights, the older veteran Brown was laid out by the younger veteran Siler in under a minute. So what happened that went so horribly wrong for the former WEC champion? Balance, posture, positioning and footwork. First, enjoy the gif:
You can see how Brown was moving forward with an abundance of aggression and momentum. Siler retreats and tries to circle then throws a short right uppercut as he gets backed against the cage. Brown drops to the floor and Siler pounces for the finish, landing two hard shots with his right hand that clearly put Brown to sleep before he wakes up and reaches for the ref's leg. So how was that short uppercut, the first clean punch of the fight, able to essentially end the fight?
In the above image, I've drawn some reference lines to help explain. First, let's look at Mike Brown. I would normally point out that his feet are facing the wrong directions and he's completely square to Siler but you can't really tell here so just take my word for it. On top of being fully squared and exposing his center, Brown is leaning way over his feet. Look at the vertical red line on the left frame. That represents the absolute farthest distance his head should ever travel in that direction. As it stands, his balance is compromised and he is basically falling forward. Next, look at his back. You can see that it rounds when it should be straight. As a result, his head is looking downwards and the blue line represents the angle he would need to be looking at to see his target. Notice that even attempting to look at that target takes his eyes completely off of Siler's hands, which are below his head. There is really nothing going right for Brown at this point.
Now, look at Siler. He is also partially squared but his feet are still in better position than Brown's and he has some semblance of a stance. Most importantly, look at the horizontal reference line drawn at the top of his rear shoulder. You can see that Siler's left shoulder is above that line, which would normally be good if he wasn't square enough for Brown's punches to bypass that shoulder and if he wasn't defending a left hook. Also note that his chin is above both shoulders while his positioning is compromised. If you showed me just that image, I would guess that Brown was about to land a sloppy left hook on the exposed chin of Siler.
However, looking at the second frame on the right, Siler does a very good job landing a counter right uppercut. Look at the horizontal reference line again and see that his rear shoulder has come upwards and slightly above both the left shoulder and the chin. Also note that his head has moved to the right (his left) so that Brown's fist now occupies the space where his head used to be. Both of these things are accomplished via shifting the weight from the right hip to the left hip. This is extremely important because it gives the puncher both leverage, natural shoulder protection and natural head movement without compromising balance or posture. Notice how Siler is upright while Brown is still bent forward. This knockout really shows the value of posture, positioning and proper mechanics, as well as proper punch selection. The right uppercut is the perfect counter to an opponent leaning forward and ducking down, so Siler lands it with devastating effect.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.