Sonnen, ‘Shogun’ Headline UFC on Fox Sports 1; Pickett vs. McDonald Booked for Boston

By Mike Whitman Jun 4, 2013



The UFC’s debut on Fox Sports 1 will be headlined by light heavyweights Chael Sonnen and Mauricio Rua, UFC officials announced Tuesday.

UFC on Fox Sports 1 takes place Aug. 17 at TD Garden in Boston and will also see former interim bantamweight title contender Michael McDonald clash with British talent Brad Pickett.

Sonnen and “Shogun” were briefly expected to meet later this month at UFC 161 after Rua’s original opponent, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, withdrew from their bout due to injury. Though Sonnen offered to fill in for “Minotoro” on short notice, the contest never became official.

Rua, 31, has alternated wins and losses in his last eight fights, most recently dropping a unanimous decision to Swedish prospect Alexander Gustafsson this past December at UFC on Fox 5. Sonnen, meanwhile, returned to the light heavyweight division in April for the first time in seven years to take on champion Jon Jones, falling to his “Ultimate Fighter 17” rival in a first-round technical knockout at UFC 159.

Just 22 years old, McDonald posted four straight victories to begin his UFC career before submitting to interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao this past February at UFC on Fuel TV 7. In Pickett, McDonald faces a fighter who has won three of his last four, topping the likes of Damacio Page and Yves Jabouin before edging Mike Easton in a split decision this past April at UFC on Fuel TV 9.

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