Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 | 2:45 p.m.
Given Chael Sonnen’s chameleonic persona, it’s never certain what kind of mood he’ll display at any given event.
At past weigh-ins before his fights, Sonnen has been anything from animated to vengeful. Ahead of tomorrow’s UFC Fight Night 26 main event bout against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to launch new channel Fox Sports 1, Sonnen looked relaxed and joyful.
Sonnen, who weighed in at 205 pounds at the TD Garden, joked and laughed with commentator Joe Rogan before hitting the scale ahead of Rua (205) and keeping his tradition of chugging a Coca-Cola after making weight intact.
“I will fight any man God ever made at any time,” Sonnen said in a video shown at the event. “I love fighting. It’s an ego boost.”
Sonnen seeks his first victory since beating Michael Bisping by unanimous decision a year-and-a-half ago Saturday. Rua is also coming off of a disappointing 1-2 stretch.
But the two were laid back a day before their fight, keeping their distance during the standard faceoff photo and shaking hands before walking off the stage.
“I always look for the knockout,” Rua said. “I need to go through him.”
The 12 fights preceding Rua vs. Sonnen followed the same script with no incidents or fighters missing weight.
The only close call came from Matt Brown (171), who had to strip down behind a towel on the stage after initially coming in a half-pound too heavy for his welterweight bout against local Mike Pyle (170).
Rising Irish star Conor McGregor (146) got the crowd rowdy when he placed his forehead into Max Holloway (145) and spit some trash talk. But Holloway enjoyed the exchange, nodding his head in approval.
New England natives Joe Lauzon (156) and Mike Brown (145.5) joined McGregor as fighters who received the loudest reaction. Lauzon’s opponent, Michael Johnson (156), might as well have donned a New York Yankees cap for how much he was booed.
Co-main event heavyweight Travis Browne (236) made a shrewd wardrobe choice by wearing a Red Sox shirt to the scale. It was impossible to tell if the boos that followed for opponent Alistair Overeem (255.5) were in support of Browne or in response to the former Strikeforce champion’s dicey past.
Sonnen also drew some boos, but likely not enough that the self-described “gangster” could hear. Nothing would break his stride on this day anyway.
Check below for full results from the UFC Fight Night 26 weigh-in.
Light heavyweight bout: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (205) vs. Chael Sonnen (205)
Heavyweight bout: Alistair Overeem (255.5) vs. Travis Browne (236)
Bantamweight bout: Urijah Faber (135.5) vs. Yuri Alcantara (136)
Welterweight bout: Matt Brown (171) vs. Mike Pyle (170)
Middleweight bout: Uriah Hall (184) vs. John Howard (185)
Lightweight bout: Joe Lauzon (156) vs. Michael Johnson (156)
Bantamweight bout: Brad Pickett (135.5) vs. Michael McDonald (135.5)
Featherweight bout: Conor McGregor (146) vs. Max Holloway (145)
Featherweight bout: Mike Brown (145.5) vs. Steven Siler (145.5)
Featherweight bout: Diego Brandao (146) vs. Daniel Pineda (144.5)
Featherweight bout: Manvel Gamburyan (145.5) vs. Cole Miller (146)
Light heavyweight bout: Cody Donovan (204) vs. Ovince St. Preux (205.5)
Lightweight bout: Ramsey Nijem (156) vs. James Vick (155)