Chael Sonnen has long been known for his ground game but it wasn't until his victory over Mauricio Rua on Saturday night that he proved how quickly he can finish fights there.
After a back and forth first round Sonnen locked up a guillotine choke late in the opening frame forcing the former UFC light heavyweight champion to tap out at the 4 47 mark of Round 1.
The light heavyweight bout headlined Saturday's UFC Fight Night 26 event at Boston's TD Garden. It aired on FOX Sports 1 as part of the new cable channel's first day on air.
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Sonnen's trademark style was on display early as he wasted no time diving for the takedown and planting Shogun on the mat in the opening seconds of the bout. Rua wasn't content to stay there long however and he quickly scrambled to his feet and got a takedown of his own to even things up.
To Sonnen's credit he stayed calm and collected early on and it wasn't long before he had reversed the position and resumed the grinding ground and pound style from the top that most people expected from him in this fight. But the real surprise came in the final minute of the round when Sonnen locked up the guillotine choke and finished it from his back leaving his Brazilian opponent with no escape route as he squeezed for the submission victory.
After the fight the always verbose Sonnen first dedicated his win to his grandmother who he said has battled cancer then launched almost immediately into his pro wrestling style schtick praising his own performance with an impromptu poem and then calling out longtime Brazilian rival Wanderlei Silva.
Right here on the UFC's new home FOX Sports 1 Wanderlei Silva 6 feet tall and 205 pounds Sonnen said in his post fight interview with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan. Boy until I met you I didn't know they could stack crap that high.
After being briefly interrupted by Rogan Sonnen was soon back on track offering Silva a fight in three months' time before storming out of the cage.
With the win Sonnen (28 13 1 MMA 7 6 UFC) gets his first victory since January 2012 snapping a two fight losing streak that saw him suffer defeats in bouts for both the UFC middleweight and light heavyweight titles. Rua (21 8 MMA 5 6 UFC) has now lost two in a row in the UFC.
Full UFC Fight Night 26 resultsChael Sonnen def. Mauricio Shogun Rua via submission (guillotine choke) Round 1 4 47Travis Browne def. Alistair Overeem via KO (head kick punches) Round 1 4 08Urijah Faber def. Yuri Alcantara via unanimous decision (30 26 30 26 30 27)Matt Brown def. Mike Pyle via KO (punches) Round 1 0 29John Howard def. Uriah Hall via split decision (30 27 28 29 29 28)Michael Johnson def. Joe Lauzon via unanimous decision (30 27 30 27 30 25)Michael McDonald def. Brad Pickett via submission (triangle choke) Round 2 3 43Conor McGregor def. Max Holloway via unanimous decision (30 27 30 27 30 26)Steven Siler def. Mike Brown via KO (punches) Round 1 0 50Diego Brandao def. Daniel Pineda via unanimous decision (29 28 29 28 29 28)Manny Gamburyan def. Cole Miller via unanimous decision (30 27 29 28 29 28)Ovince St. Preux def. Cody Donovan via KO (punches) Round 1 2 07James Vick def. Ramsey Nijem via submission (guillotine choke) Round 1 0 58
Ben Fowlkes writes for MMAjunkie.com a USA TODAY Sports Media Group affiliate. Follow Ben on Twitter benfowlkesMMA.