UFC 159: Jon Jones And Chael Sonnen Are Finally Going To Fight

UFC 159: Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen
UFC 159: Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen

Saturday evening at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will finally defend his belt against Chael Sonnen in the main event of UFC 159.

It seems like we’ve been building to this fight for an eternity, and the hype actually died down a little as the two interacted amiably as opposing coaches on the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter. That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re not going to try to beat the hell out of each other this weekend.

In addition to Jones and Sonnen doing battle in the main event, the pay-per-view portion of this card features four more solid match-ups.

Here’s all you need to know about this weekend’s UFC 159 fight card.

Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen

Jon Jones is one of the very best fighters on the planet, and appears destined to be a candidate for “The Greatest of All-Time” standing whenever his career comes to an end. That’s a long ways away too, considering he’s still just 25-years-old.

“Bones” has a chance to equal UFC legend Tito Ortiz’ record for most consecutive successful title defenses in the light heavyweight (read: 205 pounds) division this weekend, and is heavily favoured to do just that. He has one of the most impressive offensive arsenals in the sport, and should put it on full display here.

Sonnen talked his way into this opportunity, and isn’t being given much of a chance to pull the upset. He wasn’t given much of a chance of beating Anderson Silva in their first meeting either, and it damn near happened.

While professional wrestling influences him when there is a microphone in his hand, Sonnen’s wrestling in the cage is the real deal. If he’s able to take Jones down and control him on the canvas, things could get interesting.

A much more likely scenario, however, is Jones using his wide assortment of talents to batter the self-proclaimed “Bad Guy” from start to finish in devastating fashion.

Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher

These two have been jawing with each other for the last two months – and Belcher has been calling out Bisping for years – and Saturday, they’re finally going to share the Octagon in what should be an electric middleweight match-up.

Bisping is a perennial contender with outstanding conditioning, technical striking, and underrated wrestling, while Belcher is the more powerful kickboxer with a very slick submission game.

They’ve already gotten in each other’s faces this week during the press conference, and should meet in the center of the cage Saturday to throw down.

Roy Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo

Better known as “Big Country,” Nelson doesn’t look the part of a fighter. He looks more like someone who might own a scrapyard, with his bushy salt-and-pepper beard, curly mullet, and sizeable gut.

If you dismiss him for his appearance, you’re making a mistake: the Las Vegas-based heavyweight has blistering knockout power and a phenomenal ground game, and enters this fight with consecutive first-round knockout wins.

Kongo, on the other hand, is right out of the Hollywood casting book for “heavyweight fighter” – long and athletic, a chiseled mass of muscle and power. He’s been on the fringes of contention in the UFC for quite some time, and has skills to win this fight in a number of ways.

There is a very good chance that this fight produces the best knockout of the night.

Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes

This bout has an old school UFC, classic clash of styles feel to it.

Davis is a former National Champion and four-time All-American wrestler, while Magalhaes is a world champion in submission wrestling and no gi jiu-jitsu. These two will be battling on the canvas, and it will be entertaining to see which style (and which fighter) wins out.

Jim Miller vs. Pat Healy

Last time out, Miller beat the bejesus out of Joe Lauzon in one of the best fights of 2012. The feisty, bearded lightweight is closing in on earning a title shot, and will take another step closer with another solid performance here.

Healy is a veteran competitor who has put it all together as of late, rattling off six consecutive wins heading into this one. He’s the definition of a “grinder,” someone who will wear you out with his grappling and strength. A win over Miller would instantly put him in the thick of the title chase in the incredibly deep and competitive lightweight division.

 

* UFC 159 takes place Saturday, April 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and is available on pay-per-view beginning at 10pm ET/7pm PT. Preliminary card fights are available on Rogers Sportsnet regional channels beginning at 8pm ET/5pm PT.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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