Power Ranking the Main Card Fights for UFC 159
Fans will tune into UFC 159 to watch Jon Jones defend his title against Chael Sonnen, but don't get it twisted—that's not the best bout of the night.
Sonnen will sell the fight with his mouth and Jones will excite fans with his intriguing style, but you're delusional if you believe this is going to be a competitive fight. Bought into the hype of all of those wonderful promos by Sonnen, ay? You poor naive soul.
Sonnen vs. Jones won't be the show-stopper, so that means the fight of night is wide open Saturday night.
With that being the case, which matchup is the best of the night?
5. Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes
Though Phil Davis is a tremendous talent, he has yet to reach his potential.
That potential is unlimited. He's one of the best wrestlers in the light heavyweight division and his striking is constantly improving. When will we see the finished product?
Perhaps this Saturday Davis puts it all together against Vinny Magalhaes. Sure, Magalhaes is a dangerous grappler, but let's not forget that Davis holds the cards for the placement of this fight.
Davis will dictate where the fight goes, and he may want to keep it standing to showcase his growth in striking. Is Davis' breakthrough on the horizon? We'll see this Saturday.
4. Jim Miller vs. Pat Healy
Hardcore MMA fans cannot wait for this scrap.
Pat "Bam Bam" Healy makes his highly anticipated debut against Jim Miller to open the main card. Drawing Miller's name after he performed surgery on Joe Lauzon's face in his last bout at UFC 155 isn't exactly welcoming.
But luckily for the fans, Miller's style matched against a hungry Healy suggests that this will be a fun fight. Heck, if the other Strikeforce debuts have any indication on what we'll see from Healy, you can expect an aggressive approach.
Miller might be more well-rounded than Healy, which could lead to a stoppage by him in the second or third round. Stoppage or not, rest assured—it won't be a walk in the park.
3. Roy Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo
Cheick Kongo has become a clinching machine.
As a result, he's becoming a boring fighter. Well, there's not a heavyweight more "fit" to snap him out of this trend.
Love him or hate him, you can't ignore the fact that Roy "Big Country" Nelson is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC. Despite his physique, Nelson pushes forward with relentless pressure and absorbs an incredible amount of punishment.
This sets up a brawl for Kongo, and that's something he hasn't been in since he fought Pat Barry in 2011 (no, the Mark Hunt knockout loss doesn't count).
2. Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen
Sonnen is as tough as they come, but he's not on Jones' level. When you think about it, who really is?
Sonnen's recipe to win this fight is to take Jones down and grind away a decision. Judging from Jones' remarkable 100 percent takedown defense, that's likely not going to happen. Keep in mind that stat is against prominent wrestlers such as Matt Hamill and Ryan Bader.
Instead, Jones should force Sonnen to stand and trade strikes. That doesn't bode well for Sonnen. Sonnen is an underrated boxer, but Jones' striking is much more diverse and downright devastating.
Thus, Jones should send a statement with a dominant win over Sonnen. That doesn't mean Jones' dissection of Sonnen won't be entertaining to watch, though.
1. Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher
You want an entertaining fight between two high-caliber athletes with bad blood? See the co-main event.
Alan Belcher and Michael Bisping have been prominent stables in the UFC's middleweight division for years.
Their encounter has been a long time coming, especially since Belcher has been calling Bisping out. Bisping doesn't take too kindly to that.
Both fighters are excellent in every aspect of MMA, but they are at their best when standing. That sets up an emotional striking encounter between them, and furthermore, that makes this the odds on favorite for Fight of the Night.