Travis Browne put the rest of the heavyweight division on notice with a huge first-round TKO win over Alistair Overeem in the co-main event of Saturday night's UFC Fight Night 26 card at the TD Garden in Boston.
It was a strong display of toughness from Browne. Overeem was the one who came out strong from the opening bell, putting the underdog against the fence and attacking him with his signature Muay Thai knees and kicks.
However, Browne weathered the storm and waited out 'The Demolition Man's" barrage. The perseverance paid off as Browne landed a front kick to Overeem's jaw that would make Anderson Silva jealous and turned the fight on its head.
Browne followed "The Reem" to the mat and finished him off with strikes to complete the upset.
The upset victory is easily the biggest of the big 31-year-old's career. His professional record moves to 15-1-1 with the win including a 6-1-1 mark inside the Octagon.
None of Browne's previous five victories were quite as impressive as this one. Ranked as the No. 5 heavyweight in the UFC, Overeem was expected to rebound from his UFC 156 loss to Antonio Silva and get back on track for a crack at the UFC title.
Now Browne has the case to be in line for a championship bout.
The 6'7" powerhouse was ranked as the No. 8 heavyweight in the division heading into the bout after a vicious first-round knockout of UFC veteran Gabriel Gonzaga. Now he has a huge name in Overeem to add to his resume.
Throw in the fact that the win happened in front of a free television audience, and Browne couldn't have hoped for a bigger stage to take his career to the next level.
Overeem, on the other hand, will need to go back to the drawing board after this loss. The once feared and revered Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion was once again defeated by an opponent whom he was expected to beat.
After dominating former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in his UFC debut en route to a first-round TKO victory, he's been defeated by Silva and Browne. For a 33-year-old with 50 fights around the globe on his record, one has to wonder if his next venture will be navigating the retired life.
UFC Fight Night 26 was supposed to represent The Reem's chance to get right back in the mix as a marketable contender for Cain Velasquez's title. Instead, Browne seized the best opportunity of his career thus far and catapulted himself into the conversation.