Brown upsets Faber for WEC featherweight title

Originally Published: November 6, 2008
By Joe Hall | Sherdog.com

Mike Brown was seen as a credible challenger, but few expected him to knock off WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber on Wednesday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

[+] EnlargeMike Brown and Urijah Faber
AP Photo/Wilfredo LeeIn their first fight, Mike Brown, left, upset Urijah Faber with a vicious, two-fisted attack.
A 33-year-old product of American Top Team, Brown had built a solid 19-4 record and climbed the ranks gradually. Faber was said to be on a different level, though.

The first two minutes featured some clinch work and occasional strikes. Brown shot in deep on a double-leg against the cage for a takedown, but Faber hopped up almost immediately. Faber, 29, ducked a left hand while freeing his leg from Brown's grasp and then threw a wild, no-look elbow he must have hoped would catch Brown off guard.

Instead, Brown slipped the strike and tagged Faber with a right hand on the jaw. Faber dropped, and Brown continued punching on the ground until the referee intervened at 2:23 of Round 1.

"I don't have a lot of knockouts on my record, but I hit hard, man," the new featherweight champion said.

In defeat, Faber dropped to 21-2.

"I basically made a small mistake," Faber said, "and he capitalized on it."

Sonnen outworks lethargic Filho

Chael Sonnen handed Paulo Filho his first loss in a bizarre, lackluster middleweight fight. The bout had been scheduled for Filho's middleweight title before the Brazilian missed weight.

Filho, 30, simply did not seem as if he wanted to be in the cage. Fighting for the first time since going through rehab, he was a far cry from the athlete recognized by many as one of the world's best middleweights.

Most of the first round involved Sonnen's standing over a grounded Filho and kicking occasionally. Uninspiring exchanges filled the second and third periods. Sonnen scored with leg kicks and some punches while Filho looked away, as if something else were more important than the man striking him.

The fight closed with Sonnen's picking away at Filho and easily defending his takedowns, and the decision was unanimous, 30-27 on all three cards.

Garcia blasts through Pulver

Leonard Garcia stunned Jens Pulver a minute into their featherweight fight. The bout had been expected to play out on the feet, and it was there that Garcia's power quickly proved superior to Pulver's technical skill.

The end came after Pulver, 33, had backed Garcia into the cage. While Pulver tried to pick his shots, Garcia launched a left hook and a right hand that wobbled the former UFC lightweight champion.

Seeing that Pulver was hurt, Garcia loaded up more rights and lefts and let them go until the bout was stopped at 1:12.

"All my training partners tell me that I'm the hardest hitter they've ever met. At 145, it's crazy," the 29-year-old Garcia said.

The loss was the second in a row for Pulver (22-10-1), who had lost a title bout to Urijah Faber in June.

Garcia now wants his shot at gold. Asked whether he was the No. 1 contender, Garcia pointed to the performance he had just delivered: "That fight says it all, I think."

Rosholt overcomes stiff test from Osterneck

Middleweight prospect Jake Rosholt had a battle with Nissen Osterneck.

A Relson Gracie purple belt with Muay Thai training, Osterneck, 28, scored at will on his feet during the fight. Rosholt showed a sturdy chin but no head movement. He stalked forward, apparently unfazed by the punches Osterneck kept landing, and completed several takedowns.

On the ground, Rosholt, a 26-year-old three-time national champion wrestler at Oklahoma State, defended his opponent's active submission game and punished him with strikes. Osterneck attacked with a kimura at one point and consistently exploded off his back in hopes of getting back to his feet. When he did get up, he battered Rosholt standing but kept finding himself on his back again.

Eventually Rosholt's pressure on the mat was too much for a tiring Osterneck. After taking Osterneck's back, Rosholt pounded away with punches until referee Troy Waugh stopped the fight at 3:48 of the second round.

"Nissen came out, got after me," Rosholt said of Osterneck, who fell to 5-1. "He was kind of kicking my a-- there for a while. Luckily I was tough enough to stay in there and ended up finishing the fight."

With the win, Rosholt is now 5-0. He was quick to acknowledge that he needs to improve, especially if he'll be heading to the UFC as the WEC eliminates its middleweight division.

"Trust me," Rosholt said. "I'll get better."

Joe Hall covers MMA for Sherdog.com.