Posted 08/18/2013 by admin in Untethered MMA

UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs Sonnen Review

By Mike Fagan, August 19th, 2013

I’m on a Southwest flight 423 headed to Vegas. I had this idea of telling you, dear reader, that the UFC’s debut on Fox Sports 1 last night left me so enamored, so utterly entertained that I hopped on the first flight out of town to personally thank Dana White at the UFC offices. But that was a silly idea and this is a much better and much sillier lead.

But holy shit was that good. Every fight not involving Uriah Hall delivered. The broadcast wasn’t perfect (more on that in a bit), but the Fox Sports treatment worked for me, and is head and shoulders over the UFC’s presentation on Spike.


Bullet time.

-OK, about the broadcast. It’s a small thing, but a legitimate sports crawl added some…legitimacy to the proceedings that was lacking with “Roy Jones Jr. talks about fighting Anderson Silva. More on!” scrolling by every 15 seconds. Fox Sports 1, whether it challenges ESPN or not, is an honest-to-god sports network, and it’s nice to have the UFC on an honest-to-god sports network.

That said. A couple complaints. 1) Cutting to the Phantom Cam. Stop. It’s disorientating. Like a multi-cam sitcom that throws in a single-cam exterior shot. The Phantom Cam’s strength is cool slow-mo replay. Keep it to that. 2) The in-studio work. Jay Glazer still sucks. The debate format currently in vogue at ESPN and cable news networks sucks, too. This is the same type of good ol’ boy mouthy mouthy hogwash you see on Fox’s NFL pregame show, and that sucks, too. Brian Stann is good, though.

-Chael Sonnen has an offensive submission game. It’s lost behind a Billy Graham routine and a thousand screaming Chaels trapped in a thousand triangle chokes, but, trust me, it’s there. Shogun should know that, and Shogun should have respected the guillotine after Sonnen latched onto it earlier in the fight.

-The only people who don’t want to see Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva are the people who don’t want to see Wanderlei Silva lose to Chael Sonnen.

-I don’t even know what to say to the Shogun retirement babble trolling through my Twitter feed last night.

-I think we can officially define “to Overeem” as “winning a fight, sporting event, contest, etc. in the early going before spectacularly losing in the end.” For instance: The Boston Bruins Overeemed Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final when they allowed two goals in the final 76 seconds.

-From Tomas Rios, via Twitter:

Alistair Overeem is one of the single most jarring examples of an athlete who declined drastically without steroids.

Is he? Overeem’s heavyweight resume includes post-Gonzaga’d Cro Cop, Gary Goodridge’s twelve brain cells, the real Mark Hunt, James “Kimbo Fodder” Thompson, Kazuyuki Fujita, and Todd Duffee. He looked awful in the Werdum fight despite the “W,” and he beat a Brock Lesnar who literally did not have the same guts about him.

This also ignores the fact that Overeem was probably on steroids during the last part of his light heavyweight/Pride middleweight run, if not the majority of his entire career.

It also ignores, for whatever reason, the fact that Overeem was not only winning the fight up until the front kick, he was moments away from Mario Yamasaki stepping in and awarding him the fight. The difference between Travis Browne and Antonio Silva and everyone else is that they fought back.

-With all apologies to my Untethered MMA co-host Derek Suboticki, but Browne is still “a guy” to me. He deserves his ranking, he’s a quality heavyweight, but he’s not beating any of the Velasquez/dos Santos/Cormier triumvirate and he doesn’t have a personality so I don’t care.

He and Stipe Miocic would be cool, though.

-I would love to see the UFC put together Urijah Faber and Michael McDonald. Renan Barao fights Eddie Wineland next month, and Dominick Cruz wants to return early in 2014. Assuming they throw Cruz back into the title picture (and they haven’t stripped him of the belt, for whatever reason), there’s no sense in leaving Faber and McDonald on the shelves, or taking high-risk/low-reward fights against guys down the ranking. It’s a great matchup that should work for the UFC either way. If Faber wins, he gets a well-earned shot at the belt, and McDonald is young enough to bounce back and put together another run. If McDonald wins, they can finally put Faber out to pasture and they’ve built a super-credible, young challenger for themselves.

-This Matt Brown run is fun, but let’s hold off calling out Georges St-Pierre until you beat a ranked opponent, huh? How about we start with…Robbie Lawler.

-Dana White on Uriah Hall-John Howard:

HORRIBLE!!!!!!! The high 5 fight of the night WTF

Pack your bags and hand in your Metro PCS, Uriah. And please see Joe Silva before you go for your exit interview.

-I don’t know if Joe Lauzon was hurt, or confused by a southpaw, or confused about seeing a black man in Boston, but Michael Johnson put a serious hurt on him for 15 minutes. Oh well, at least he has beating up Dana White’s friends for money to fall back on.

-Finally, big ups to last night’s Wikipedia vandal. I cried laughing trying to read these out loud to my girlfriend and my roommate.


Mike Fagan is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at, also available as a podcast via iTunes.