Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekend in Violence 3 Stars: Browne, Sonnen and McDonald usher in the FOX Sports 1 era

This past weekend in Boston for the first of many UFC cards on America's new sports network, FOX Sports 1, the violence meter here atwent berserk.

Ovince St. Preux was more than happy to 'Volunteer' when called upon to dish out the ultraviolence on this historic night. Young Steven Scott Siler put away a former Zuffa champion in under a minute in between incredible performances from Diego Brandao and Conor McGregor respectively; the kind of performances that may have gotten them a spot on this list on any other night. The very same goes for Matt Brown, a man who is looking more and more "Immortal" with every performance. No one has looked better than Brown inside of the 170 lb division over the past two years. It's a fact. Let's not forget about Urijah Faber either. He's 3-0 during his 2013 campaign thus far, and knowing Urijah, I'm sure he has one more left in him before the year is out.

Now that we got the honorable mentions out of the way first instead of saving them for last, it's time to take a look at the top three performers from one of the best cards the UFC has put forward this year.

1st Star - Travis Browne

It looks like Travis Browne has finally gotten the respect he deserves. After his front kick KO of former K-1 and Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem this past weekend in Boston you can no longer deny the proud Hawaiian. All he does is KO, submit and collects checks. The lone blemish on his record came against a man in Bigfoot that he likely beats if he doesn't tear his hammy during that fight.

Let's face it. Browne is ready for his title shot. I do want to see him fight one more time before he gets his chance at gold though. I'll get to that tomorrow in our "What's Next" piece. For now, it's time for Browne to sit back for a second and enjoy the insane highlights he continues to amass at the highest level of competition. Here are a couple of examples -

2nd Star - Chael Sonnen

Chael Sonnen, you just submitted a former UFC light heavyweight and PRIDE middleweight grand prix champion in the opening stanza of the first ever main event on FOX Sports 1. What do you have to say for yourself?

"I'm the man of the hour, Joe, too sweet to be sour. What you see is what you get and what you don't is better yet. I'm the women's pick, I'm the men's regret and if you went against Chael Sonnen you made a bad bet. Now, right here, on the UFC's new home, FOX Sports 1. Wanderlei Silva, 6-foot tall and 205-pounds. Boy, until I met you, I didn't know they could stack crap that high. Whoa whoa whoa I will let you know when I'm done Joe. I just got done with a world champion. If you don't think I'll add a middle-aged comedian just for the goddamn pleasure of it, you better think again. Wanderlei Silva, in three months, you and the bad guy."

Thanks for that Chael.

3rd Star - Michael McDonald

I remember a few years back hearing rumblings about this kid from Northern California who was getting mentioned in the same sentence as Jon Jones in regards to up and coming future UFC champions - the next big things if you will.

McDonald is one of those examples of why you simply cannot judge a book by its cover in this sport. The kid has a smile worth a million bucks, like Urijah Faber before him he appears to be surrounded by a refreshing constant aura of positivity. Also like Urijah, he's a stone cold finisher inside of the cage. The patience and accuracy he exuded against Brad Pickett on Saturday night was on par with any of the champions in our sport today. At the age of 22, with the experience of one title fight already under his belt, expect nothing short of greatness for Michael McDonald for a long time to come.
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