Strange Night in New Jersey (UFC 159 Review)

Chael Sonnen vs Jon JonesThe UFC Light Heavyweight division has been one of the most competitive divisions in the UFC with nobody holding the title for very long. In a promotion that seems to have a dominant champion at almost every weight class the Light Heavyweight continued to be one of the more difficult divisions to dominate. Then came Jon Jones representing the new breed of fighter in the UFC and looking to become the most dominant Light Heavyweight Champion in UFC history. To do this he would need to beat Tito Ortiz’s record of 5 title defences in the light heavyweight division. Jones would get a chance to tie the record against Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 when he would have his 5th title defence as the Light Heavyweight Champion. Jones was looking to make history at UFC 159 and would also be looking to shut up one of the most outspoken fighters in the UFC. Chael Sonnen is a fighter that always seems to make the most noise and many times it has paid off for him. UFC 159 was one of those times as he would talk his way into a title shot in a division where he hadn’t had a fight since 2005. Sonnen was not even on the radar for the Light Heavyweight title until he accepted a fight with Jones on 8 days notice, a fight that would never happen. Since that time Sonnen continued to talk up the fight essentially forcing the UFC to put together the fight. This time Jones would take the fight and instead of firing back at Sonnen for all of the comments he would take a very businesslike approach to the fight. Staying calm and not returning fire Jones would answer questions and just approach it like every other fight. Sonnen would continue to fire shots at Jones and continue to state that he was the best fighter in the world and that he could beat anyone even Jones. The fight would be very hyped, thanks in large part to Sonnen, but many believed that Sonenn didn’t belong in the fight. Talking yourself into a title shot is something that only Sonnen could do and for many it was not the right way to get the shot as he had not earned it. Still Sonnen is a great fighter with a very good wrestling background that many saw as a big advantage against Jones. Jones has rarely showed his wrestling skills as his creative stand up game always took focus. Many took this as showing that Jones may not have the ground game to match Sonnen. There was talk that if Sonnen may be the first fighter to take Jones down and show how Jones is on his back. When the fight started though, it was Jones who would showcase his wrestling background. After a brief stand up fight by both fighters Jones would be the first to get a takedown. Instead of using his much longer reach Jones would stay close to Sonnen throughout the first round. He would earn takedowns and press Sonnen against the fence using a strategy that was questionable. It was working for Jones though as he had complete control in the first round while Sonnen was helpless to defend against it. Near the end of the round Jones would take Sonnen down for the third time and this time they would start using his ground and pound. Jones would drop elbows and unleash big punches on Sonnen while Sonnen was unable to defend against it. It would be too much for Sonnen to handle and he would stop defending forcing the referee to stop the fight. Sonnen proved not to be on the same level as Jones and would take the loss not even lasting one round with the champion. After the loss Sonnen would hint that he might retire and with a budding TV career there is little doubt that Sonnen may never fight in the UFC again. Meanwhile Jones would take the win and tie Tito Ortiz for most Light Heavyweight title defences in UFC history. Jones will likely move on to a title defence against one of the top challengers in either Alexander Gustafsson, Lyoto Machida, or Dan Henderson. This fight could break Tito Ortiz’s record but will likely take some time after Jones broke his toe during the fight with Sonnen.

UFC 159 would not only see a record tying title defence but would also end up providing some very strange finishes. The night would see one fighter’s corner throw in the towel after a dislocated thumb while also providing forced decisions. One of these strange finishes would happen in the co-main event. Michael Bisping would take on Alan Belcher in a fight that was preceded by plenty of talk. Both fighters had their moments before this fight with Alan Belcher, much like Chael Sonnen, talking himself into the fight. Both fighters would also be looking to make an impact in the middleweight division for a chance at the middleweight title. The fight would be a good back and forth battle as both fighters were looking good although Bisping was getting the better of the fight on the feet. Then in the third round Bisping would poke Alan Belcher in the eye. It was an inadvertent poke to a surgically repaired eye and normally would just be a pause in the fight. Belcher could not see out of the eye though and he was not going to come back into the fight. It would be the second time this happened on the night as the fight would be stopped and would go to the judges. The judges would give the fight to Bisping with a Technical Decision. The loss would hurt Belcher in his attempt at moving up the division rankings and may put his career at risk with more damage to an eye that has already had surgery on it. Meanwhile Bisping did not want the win like that but will take it and move up the middleweight ladder one step closer to a title fight. UFC 159 was a good night of fights with strange finishes and a record tied as the talk before the fight was solved by the end of the night.


Fight Bonuses
($65,000 For each Fighter)

Submission of the Night
It was a great fight and one that would end with Pat Healy coming out on top against hometown favorite Jim Miller with a Rear-Naked Choke making an impressive UFC debut for the lightweight

Knockout of the Night
Roy Nelson has been known for his Knockouts at UFC 159 he would face another knockout artist in Cheick Kongo but Big Country would get the KO this time and would earn the KO of the Night bonus for his efforts

Fight of the Night
The Lightweights are a division that many consider to be boring but Pat Healy and Jim Miller went out at UFC 159 to disprove that notion and they would achieve it in a great war that was eventually won by Healy


Fight Results

Main Event:
Jon “Bones” Jones def. Chael Sonnen
(TKO, Rd. 1)


Main Card:
Michael “The Count” Bisping def. Alan “The Talent” Belcher
(Technical Decision)

Roy “Big Country” Nelson def. Cheick Kongo
(KO, Rd. 1)

Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis def. Vinny “Pezao” Magalhaes
(Unanimous Decision)

Pat “Bam Bam” Healy def. Jim Miller
(Submission, Rear Naked Choke; Rd. 3)


Rustam “Tiger” Khabilov def. Yancy Medeiros
(TKO due to injury, Rd. 1)

Ovince St. Preux def. Gian Villante
(Majority Technical Decision)

Sara McMann def. Sheila “The German Tank” Gaff
(TKO, Rd. 1)

Brian “Kid Lightning” Caraway def. Johnny “Brutal” Bedford
(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 3)

Cody McKenzie def. Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia
(Unanimous Decision)

“Super” Steven Siler def. Kurt Holobaugh
(Unanimous Decision)


Upcoming Events

UFC on FX 8: Belfort vs. Rockhold (Saturday May 18th; 9:00 pm ET)
Jaragua, Santa Carina (Arena Jaragua)
Main Event: “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold
Notable: Costa Philippou vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
Notable: Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Evan Dunham

UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Bigfoot (Saturday May 25th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva [Heavyweight Title]
Notable: Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos vs. Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt
Notable: Glover Teixeira vs. James Te Huna

UFC on Fuel TV 10: Nogueira vs. Werdum (Saturday June 8th; 8:00 pm ET)
Fortaleza, Brazil (Paulo Sarasate Arena)
Main Event: Minotauro Nogueira vs. Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum
Notable: Thiago Silva vs. Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante
Notable: Daniel Sarafian vs. Eddie Mendez

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