UFC 159: Main Fight Card Preview
UFC 159 Live on Pay-Per View
The Ultimate Fighter 17 finale went down just under two weeks ago where Kelvin Gastelum defeated TUF favorite Uriah Hall by a split judges' decision. Before the fight took place, the winner of the coaching battle during the season was awarded to Chael Sonnen, due to that fact that the two fighters competing in the final were both his fighters.
With the season complete, the only thing remaining is to see who can come out on top between the two coaches of TUF 17. Defending UFC Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, Jon Jones will compete against Sonnen at UFC 159 to determine who will not only be the champion coach of the TUF 17 season, but who will be the new or still light heavyweight champion.
In addition to the light heavyweight title bout, MMA fans around the world are in for a great night of fights in New Jersey. Michael Bisping faces Alan Belcher in a middleweight bout, TUF: Heavyweights champion Roy Nelson squares off against Cheick Kongo, Phil Davis battles Vinny Magalhaes and Jim Miller takes on Pat Healy.
Before the main card gets underway at 10:00 p.m., a four-fight preliminary card, including the UFC’s third ever Women’s bout, takes place on the FX Network at 8:00 p.m., and a three-fight card will be streamed on Facebook at 6:35 p.m. (all times eastern).
Take a look at the Pay-Per View main fight card, culminating in a title bout as the main event between Jones and Sonnen.
Disclaimer: Fights are verbally agreed upon and card may change at any time. Some fights may not be broadcast.
Lightweight: Miller vs Healy
Jim Miller and Pat Healy will open the night on Pay-Per View with a lightweight bout.
Miller comes into Saturday night with a 22-4-0 record, but hasn’t won back-to-back fights since 2011. Over his last 10 fights, the 29-year-old has finished the fight by submission four times, knockout twice and gone the distance four times, all unanimous decisions.
Healy is a veteran of 46 professional fights and holds a career record of 31-15-0. “Bam Bam” is on a current six-game win streak, all wins coming by either unanimous judges' decision or submission. Healy will be making his first trip back inside the UFC octagon since 2006, after spending the last few years with Strikeforce.
Both fighters have outstanding submission games and have strong chins. This fight may last all three rounds or end by submission in the third round.
Light Heavyweight: Davis vs Magalhaes
Phil Davis enters the octagon on Saturday afternoon with a 10-1-0, 1NC professional record. “Mr. Wonderful” fought three times in 2012, fighting Wagner Prado twice due to having to stop the fight as Prado could not continue. Davis has outstanding takedown defense added to his ability to take his opponent down. Two of his last three wins have been finished by submission.
Vinny Magalhaes holds a professional record of 11-5-0, 1NC over his career. “Pezao” participated in The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir season back in 2008. Magalhaes was the runner-up to Ryan Bader in the light heavyweight division. In his last UFC fight, the 28-year-old submitted Igor Pokrajac in the second round, earning his first UFC win. He is a second degree BJJ black belt and has extremely heavy kicks.
Heavyweight: Nelson vs Kongo
The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights winner Roy Nelson squares off against Frenchmen Cheick Kongo in the main card's only heavyweight bout.
Nelson holds a professional record of 19-7-0 and a 4-3 record since winning TUF. His current streak doesn’t show much, seeing how two of his losses have come against Junior Dos Santos and Frank Mir, both of which were judges' decisions. “Big Country” walks into the octagon and plans to knock his opponent out, although he does posses a fairly good ground game for a big guy. You’ll know you’ve fought Nelson after leaving the cage. “Whoever fights me, they’ll go, ‘I’ll never fight Roy Nelson again’”
Kongo has been training to be a fighter since the ripe age of five. His focus and dedication shows with a 28-7-2 professional MMA record. However, in his last eight fights the 37-year-old is 4-3-1.
Middleweight: Bisping vs Belcher
Michael Bisping enters the UFC octagon for the second time in 2013. “The Count” fell victim to a knockout by Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7 back in January. During his professional career, Bisping has posted a 24-5-0 record. His standup game and the ability to adapt to any situation gives him a great advantage over his opponent.
After an impressive four-fight win streak, Alan Belcher enters the octagon on Saturday for the first time since 2009 coming off a loss in his last fight. Belcher went the distance against Yushin Okami at UFC 155, but loss to a unanimous decision by the judges. “The Talent” is 17-6-0 over his 23 pro fights and looks to improve on his record at UFC 159.
Light Heavyweight Title Bout: Jones vs Sonnen
After months of jawing back and forth on season 17 of the Ultimate Fighter, fans finally get to see Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen fight for the light heavyweight championship belt.
Jones is looking to continue his current eight-fight win streak and defend his belt for a sixth straight time. “Bones” took the belt from Mauricio Rua back in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since. His ability to use his wrestling, jiu-jitsu and muay thai to defeat his opponents is like no one else. The 25-year-old holds a professional record of 17-1-0 and doesn’t look like he wants to add a second loss to his record. Coming into Saturday night, Jones has focused solely on defeating Sonnen rather than promoting the fight.
This fight will be Sonnen’s first fight at 205-pounds since returning the light heavyweight division. He has contended for two UFC belts already in his career, both at middleweight and both against Anderson Silva, in which he lost in both contests. The 36-year-old returns to the octagon seeking a belt in the light heavyweight division, but will have to get through Jones first.
Sonnen has his work cutout for him. In Monday’s media conference call, Sonnen was obvious in stating he thought Jones was a better fighter than Silva, the man most consider as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. "I don't think they're close," Sonnen said. "I think Jon is considerably better than Anderson."