August 15, 2013 11:35 AM EST
UFC Fight Night 26, Chael Sonnen vs. Shogun Rua: Questions and Predictions for the Main Card Fights
UFC Fight Night 26: Chael Sonnen vs. Shougun Rua is just days away. It is a card that is full of exciting fights and features potential contenders and some of the top guys in each division in the UFC. Definitely, each fight has huge implications to the UFC's ever-growing weight classes, and each has a level of importance for each fighter involved.
Each matchup also pose several questions to be answered come fight night. Click through the slideshow to know the questions we should ask about each fight and who will likely to win in each matchup.
Light Heavyweight - Mauricio Rua vs. Chael Sonnen
Heavyweight - Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne
Bantamweight - Urijah Faber vs. Yuri Alcantara
Welterweight - Matt Brown vs. Mike Pyle
Middleweight - Uriah Hall vs. John Howard
Lightweight - Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson
Can Rua Find a Way to Defend Against Sonnen’s Takedowns?
Sonnen’s wrestling will definitely be the factor in this fight, for it will dictate where the action is happening. If the American chose to make the fight a grappling match, he will definitely have the advantage. Rua can only stand a chance if he can submit Sonnen from the ground, which is definitely not an impossible thing to do, considering that most of Sonnen’s losses come from submission.
Nonetheless, Sonnen’s top ground control is one of the best in the UFC, and if he can implement a game plan focusing on that area, he is more likely to win his fight against Rua.
Prediction: Sonnen wins via unanimous decision
Can Alistair Overeem Come Back from Adversity?
We have seen Overeem dominate opponents using his striking. But with his last match against Antonio Silva wherein he lost via brutal knockout, it is interesting to think whether the six-foot-four heavyweight will ever be the same again.
Will the lost serve as a wakeup call for Overeem? Or shall it be the start of the decline in the former K-1 World Grand Prix champion’s career?
Prediction: Overeem wins via knockout in the second round
Would Urijah Faber be ready for a title shot with a win against Yuri Alcantara?
Faber is an interesting case for the UFC’s bantamweight division. He defeated upcoming contenders, thus being ranked number two, but has lost both his fights against champion Dominick Cruz and interim champion Renan Barao.
So the question for Faber is: would a win against Alcantara be enough to give him a third shot at the bantamweight title? It will depend on how he will manage to win his fight against Alcantara, who is a fighter he certainly can’t look pass.
Prediction: Faber wins via unanimous decision
Whose winning streak shall end come fight night? Matt Brown’s or Mike Pyle’s?
Both Brown and Pyle are currently enjoying an impressive winning streak in the UFC. The former has five straight wins, while the latter has four. Both fighters have also been impressive knockout artists lately, with a combined seven wins via knockout in their last five fights.
But the question come fight night is: who is tough enough to continue his streak and come on top of the welterweight rankings?
Prediction: Brown wins via KO in the second round
Will the Uriah Hall Hype Train Be Revived?
Hall has been impressive in his stay in The Ultimate Fighter House, finishing his opponents using frightening style of striking. He was actually dubbed by many as a future challenger to the middleweight title championship. But his lost in the finale has diminished the hype that is surrounding him.
Now the question is: will a win against the very tough Howard propel him back to prospective contender status?
Both fighters possess powerful striking, with a combined record of 14 wins via knockout. What will determine the outcome of this fight is who can land the knockout punch first. Is it Hall or Howard?
Prediction: Howard wins via KO in the second round
Can Joe Lauzon submit Michael Johnson?
Lauzon has made a name for submitting opponents (18 submission victories). And it is interesting that he is matched up with a fighter who has lost several times via submission (six losses via submission). So shall the question be, what round can Lauzon submit Johnson? If Lauzon can bring the fight to the ground, it should be a matter of time only before he locks a submission hold.
Prediction: Lauzon wins via submission in the first round