Finally, after months and months of hype, FOX Sports 1 will debut Saturday night.
And with it comes the UFC, as the promotion hosts UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen.
The event takes place on Facebook and FS1 from the TD Garden in Boston.
FightLine main writer Dana Becker and staff writer Joseph Lisnow offer up their thoughts on the main event between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Chael Sonnen, and the co-main event between Alistair Overeem and Travis Browne, below.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Chael Sonnen
Dana Becker: I don’t know what it is, but something tells me Chael Sonnen is going to pull this one out. Is he more talented than Mauricio “Shogun” Rua? Doubtful. Does he have more to gain with a win? Not really. But, when Sonnen has his back up against a wall, he seems to be a better fighter. For Sonnen to pull out the win, this needs to be a similar-style fight as Rua’s loss to Alexander Gustafsson was; that means avoid trading punches and control the action. Sonnen can do those things with his exceptional wrestling, as evident by his first match vs. Anderson Silva. Chael Sonnen via unanimous decision
Joseph Lisnow: Surprisingly, Chael Sonnen has been on the mute side for this fight. He’s taken a few jabs at Brazil as he looks to lure Wanderlei Silva into a match. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has struggled in the UFC and not being able to kick downed opponents could be a factor. Sonnen said he’s going back to middleweight, likely after realizing how massive and strong the light heavyweights are. These two veterans would love a title shot, but it’s going to take more than a win here to get even close to the gold. Look for Sonnen to go for repeated takedowns as he implies the ground and pound game. If Rua gets dominated here, it might be time to rethink his future. Mauricio Rua via second round TKO
Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne
Dana: This could be viewed as a do-or-die fight for Alistair Overeem. The former Strikeforce heavyweight champion spent 2012 on the sidelines and returned only to be knocked out by Antonio Silva. A second straight loss could prove costly for “The Reem.” Travis Browne, meanwhile, has a tremendous opportunity in this one. He is a relative unknown, but a dangerous opponent with serious knockout power. Can he withstand what you would have to believe will be a motivated Overeem? If this one makes it to the third, Browne could be in the money. Alistair Overeem via first round TKO
Joseph: Whoever wins is one solid performance away from making the case for a heavyweight title shot. Fabricio Werdum looks to have the next shot lined up if Daniel Cormier decides to not pursue the belt. Alistair Overeem called Travis Browne a “killer” in a recent interview and he’s spot on. The Hawaiian has taken care of business quickly when the Octagon door closes. The one blemish from Antonio “Big Foot” Silva was injury related and he returned looking even better. I don’t want to say Overeem used steroids throughout his entire career, but if he takes another defeat it’s going to raise questions. This should be a pure striking battle and not much else. Travis Browne via third round KO