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This Weekend In Sports: UFC Fight Night 26 and the Little League World Series

TWIS 8-15
Richard Wolowicz, Rob Carr / Getty Images

A new 24-hour sports network debuts with a stellar mixed martial arts card, and the world’s best Little Leaguers return to Williamsport, Pa. Here’s what to watch this weekend:

Friday, Aug. 16

Little League World Series — Michigan vs. California

Lamade Stadium, Williamsport, Pa.; 3 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The Little League World Series begins Thursday in Williamsport, Pa. with 16 teams competing for a true world championship. Eastlake Little League of Chula Vista, Calif. faces Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores Little League of Grosse Pointe, Mich. in a first round game on Friday. All eyes will be on 12-year-old Chad Lorkowski of the Grosse Pointe team. At 6’2″ and 210 pounds, Lorkowski is larger than some major leaguers, and he’s still growing. The tournament ends with the championship on Sunday, Aug. 25.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.; 8 p.m. (ET) on Fox
After being routed at home by the Baltimore Ravens in their first pre-season game last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will travel to New England to face the Patriots in Week 2. While New England quarterback Tom Brady dominated the Philadelphia defense last week, a sprained knee may sideline him for this game against Greg Schiano’s Buccaneers.

Saturday, Aug. 17

Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates

PNC Park, Pittsburgh; 4:05 p.m. (ET) on Fox
The Pittsburgh Pirates (71-48) still lead the National League Central by three games despite a four-game losing streak earlier this week. They’ll send Jeff Locke (9-3, 2.43) to the mound against a Diamondbacks’ lineup anchored by N.L. home run and RBI leader Paul Goldschmidt. Arizona (62-57) is seven games behind the Dodgers in the N.L. West. Diamondbacks’ pitcher Trevor Cahill (3-10, 4.66) will face outfielder Andrew McCutchen and the rest of the Pirates’ batting order.

UFC Fight Night 26: Mauricio Rua vs. Chael Sonnen

TD Garden, Boston; 8 p.m. (ET) on Fox Sports 1
The new Fox Sports 1 network debuts with a star-studded UFC card. The main event is a light heavyweight bout between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Chael Sonnen. A former UFC champ, Rua should have an edge on Sonnen, who is once again fighting at a weight class above his normal middleweight level. Among the bouts featured on the undercard are Travis Browne vs. Alistair Overeem; Yuri Alcantara vs. Urijah Faber; Mike Pyle vs. Matt Brown; Uriah Hall vs. John Howard and Michael Johnson vs. Joe Lauzon.

Sunday, Aug. 18

Pure Michigan 400

Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.; 1:16 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Jimmie Johnson brings a commanding lead in the Sprint Cup series standings into Michigan this weekend. Second-place Clint Bowyer is 75 points off Johnson’s lead, while third-place Carl Edwards is 80 points out.

Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.; 7 p.m. (ET) on Fox
The Indianapolis Colts will look to bounce back from a disappointing performance against Buffalo last week when they face the New York Giants at the Meadowlands on Sunday night. The Giants’ duo of quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Victor Cruz both looked to be in mid-season form during last week’s win over Pittsburgh.

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

Fenway Park, Boston; 8:05 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The New York Yankees (62-57) head into Fenway Park to face their arch rival, the Boston Red Sox (72-50). The Sox are in first place in the American League East, but the Yankees won four games in a row heading into Thursday. Staff ace C.C. Sabathia (10-10, 4.66) starts for the Yanks, while Ryan Dempster (6-8, 4.50) gets the nod for Boston.

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