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Paddy Power's UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen Preview

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Mauricio Rua vs. Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen’s last two outings -- against champions Jon Jones and Anderson Silva -- illustrated that he's a man who knows how to sell a fight -- and test himself against the absolute best in the world. Now he’s looking to get back in to the win column against former light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in Boston.

Shogun (21-7)  has alternated between wins and losses in his last seven fights. Having been defeated by Alexander Gustafsson last time out, the pattern dictates the Brazilian is set to win in Boston -- though this possibly isn’t the most scientific way to decide your bets.

If he is to win he’s most likely going to have to stop Sonnen inside the five rounds. The American Gangster has lost 13 times in his MMA career (with 28 wins and 1 draw) but only once has he lost by decision, and that was over nine years ago. However he has won 16 fights on the judges’ cards. If this fight goes the distance, then Sonnen’s wrestling, cardio and tactical approach should be enough to earn him the points win at 7/5.

Rua on the other hand has lost three of his last seven fights on points, taking only two of his 21 wins via judges.

This should be a close fight between two talented and experienced fighters. The betting supports this with Rua at evens and Sonnen a slight favourite at 4/5.

Rua will be looking for the knockout. As a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, he undoubtedly knows how to submit an opponent, but that doesn't mean it's his go-to: 18 of his 21 wins have been by KO. You can back him at 12/5 to win by KO.

***Paddy Power Money-Back Special – If the fight ends in a submission, customers make their money back on a host of markets***

Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne
As impressive as Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva’s knockout finish over Alistair Overeem (36-12, 1 NC) was back in February, it’s hard to ignore the way Overeem faded so early on. Whether it was a fitness issue or an adrenaline dump is hard to say, but we should see a far better version of the former Strikeforce champion this Saturday night.

His opponent, Travis Browne, has only one defeat on his 16-fight record (14-1-1), one that also came at the hands of Bigfoot Silva. A first round knockout loss back in October of last year.

Browne bounced back with a first-round stoppage over Gabriel Gonzaga showing he’s a dangerous opponent for any heavyweight. However he lacks the experience of Overeem, who has 49 professional MMA fights (plus 14 kickboxing bouts) under his belt.

Browne is a definite threat but if Overeem is back on his game he’ll justify his favourite tag and find himself back on the road to a title shot with a win at 1/2.

Urijah Faber vs. Iuri Alcantara
With both the champion and interim champion out of action in the bantamweight division, perennial challenger Urijah Faber (28-6) is looking to keep himself in the mix with a win over surging finisher Iuri Alcantara (27-4, 1 NC).

Faber has far more top-level experience and though he has six defeats on his record, they have all come in title fights. Faber looked incredible in beating Scott Jorgensen and unless he’s poorly prepared or Alcantara shows us something we haven’t seen before, Faber should take this fight at 4/11.

Conor McGregor vs. Max Holloway

Dropping down to the undercard it would be remiss of us not to mention Dubliner Conor McGregor (13-2), who makes his second appearance in the UFC. So impressive was his 67-second debut knockout of Marcus Brimage that Dana White made sure he would feature on this card in Boston, a city with a strong historical connection to Ireland.

There’s a real possibility that this fight could excite the biggest reaction from the crowd with the charismatic Dubliner bearing all the hallmarks of a future UFC star. He’s the 4/11 favourite to beat Max Holloway (7-2), a 21-year-old Hawaiian and electrifying striker with a 3-2 record in the UFC.

Six of Holloway’s nine fights have gone to the cards, while none of McGregor’s have. In fact, the Irishman has recorded 12 knockouts from his 13 wins and the big money is on him doing the same thing in Boston. If he lives up to expectations, we might see another quick finish and another post-fight bonus. McGregor is evens to win by knockout and 6/4 to win inside the first round.

Check out all prices for Boston card match ups and markets on Paddy Power today. New Accounts get a £20 FREE BET once they place an initial wager of £10