BOSTON, Mass. — Mike Brown’s return to Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts competition after a 15-month absence was short lived Saturday night.

The 37-year-old Brown, a graduate of Bonny Eagle High School in Standish who now lives and trains in Florida, was knocked out by veteran Steven Siler at 50 seconds of the first round of their scheduled three-round featherweight bout on the UFC Fight Night 26 televised nationally on Fox Sports 1.

The show was held before 12,539 fans at the TD Garden.

Siler caught Brown with a straight right hand strike just after Brown missed with a lunging overhand right, and the countering punch sent Brown to the mat, where Siler landed a succession of follow-up blows that prompted referee Yves Lavigne to stop the bout.

Brown, now 26-9 overall and 2-4 in UFC bouts, was fighting for the first time since defeating Daniel Pineda by unanimous decision on May 28, 2012 — a hiatus that included neck surgery last September.

Siler is now 23-10, 5-1 in the UFC

In the main event of the evening, Chael Sonnen scored a first-round tapout victory via guillotine choke hold over Shogun Rua in their non-title light heavyweight bout.

‘The’ Ryan Sanders poised for return

Another fighter set to return to competition soon is welterweight “The” Ryan Sanders of Brewer and Young’s MMA in Bangor, who is set to take on Josh Montoro in one of the featured bouts at NEF X on Sept. 21 in Lewiston.

Sanders (4-4) has not fought since suffering a first-round knockout loss to Michael “Venom” Page during his Bellator MMA debut in Lewiston in March.

He subsequently was issued a 60-day suspension by the Combat Sports Authority of Maine based on the sudden knockout nature of that loss, then had a scheduled bout against New Jersey’s Manny Walo on July 12 at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor shelved when Walo’s manager called New England Fights matchmaker and co-owner Matt Peterson on the day of the weigh-ins saying that Walo could not make weight and would not make the fight.

Montoro, who fights out of First Coast Full Contact in Jacksonville, Fla., will bring a 2-2 record into the Sept. 21 bout.

At least two other Young’s MMA fighters are scheduled to join Sanders on the NEF X card.

Undefeated Ray “All Business” Wood of Bucksport will headline the Sept. 21 show when he defends his NEF Maine featherweight crown against Joe Pingitore.

And teammate Bruce “Pretty Boy” Boyington (3-5) of Brewer will take on Walter Smith Cotito (1-2) of Hollis, N.H., in another 145-pound matchup.

Boyington is coming off a first-round victory over Asa Zorn in Bangor last month, ending a three-match losing streak that began last fall after he had scored a 10-second, spin-kick knockout of Keegan Hornstra that was featured prominently on AXS TV’s “Inside MMA” program and gained nearly 300,000 YouTube views.

Cotito, who went undefeated as an amateur, lost early this year to Wood via third-round technical knockout at Salem, N.H.

De Freitas wins R.I. bout

NEF welterweight champion Gil De Freitas scored perhaps the most impressive victory of his career last weekend, a first-round stoppage of Chuck “Cold Steel” O’Neil of Bridgewater, Mass., on the CES MMA 18: Gold Rush card at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.

De Freitas, a native of Sao Paolo, Brazil, now training with Team Link in Ludlow, Mass., defeated O’Neil — a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter 13 — via technical knockout on strikes at 3:37 of the first round.

De Freitas, who won the NEF welterweight crown with a unanimous decision over “The” Ryan Sanders last September, improved his record to 15-5.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...