One of UFC's biggest events of 2013, to this point, is set to take place on Saturday in the form of UFC 159. The card, which will be headlined by Jon "Bones" Jones vs. Chael Sonnen, will emanate from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. and feature a dozen fights that every MMA fan is sure to enjoy.
Some of those bouts could go either way, but others are a bit more obvious. It's true that anything can happen in a combat sport like MMA; however, the writing is on the wall in some cases. There are a few fights with some pretty heavy favorites involved, so it would be a shock to see them lose on the big stage.
Here are three favored fighters who will live up to their billing and come away from UFC 159 with huge wins under their belts.
While Jones vs. Sonnen for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship is UFC 159's biggest draw, it is also the event's most one-sided affair. Jones is arguably the best fighter in the world right now as he boasts a 17-1 record. His lone loss came back in 2009 due to a disqualification stemming from illegal elbows, so most fans consider him to be undefeated despite what his record says.
Sonnen is accomplished in his own right with a mark of 27-12-1, but he simply doesn't measure up to Jones. Sonnen has lost two of his past four fights, both of which were against Anderson Silva. While Silva is obviously no pushover, Jones is at that same level, so it will take a special effort for Sonnen to prevail.
Only one of Jones' past 10 fights have gone to the scorecards, so fans should be on high alert for a knockout or submission. Sonnen is a tough customer, but Jones has so many weapons at his disposal that he figures to put an end to this one fairly early.
One of the most intriguing fights on the card will pit Phil Davis against Vinny Magalhaes in a high-stakes light heavyweight bout. Davis has a far more impressive track record as he boasts a career record of 10-1 and is a UFC veteran. Magalhaes' career got off to a pedestrian start, but he has won six consecutive fights and is set for his second career UFC bout at UFC 159.
Both fighters have a lot of promise at 28 years of age, and there is no doubt that Magalhaes has some momentum, but Davis is obviously the superior fighter. Davis is an extremely dangerous submission artist, and although Magalhaes excels in that area as well, Davis is a bit savvier and should be able to avoid any potential traps.
Davis fell short in his biggest fight to date against Rashad Evans, but he could be in line for another major bout if he beats Magalhaes. Davis is obviously well aware of that, and he simply won't let his opportunity go by the wayside.
In the lone heavyweight bout on the UFC 159 slate, a pair of wily veterans will do battle as Roy Nelson takes on Cheick Kongo. Both Nelson and Kongo have been around for a very long time, so it's pretty surprising that they haven't fought each other yet. Interestingly enough, both Nelson and Kongo have 18-7 career records, so something has to give in this bout, which could set the winner up for a big fight moving forward.
It may seem tough to call a winner on the surface as they have both had some success as of late and have faced similar opponents, but the smart money is on Nelson. For one, Kongo hasn't fought in nearly a year while Nelson last competed in December, so he is probably in more of a groove at this point. Also, Nelson offers more variety as he can win via knockout or submission or on the scorecards.
Nelson is simply a more dangerous all-around fighter than Kongo, and that will serve him well in this fight. Nelson has seemingly gotten better with age, and that will continue to be the case when he takes care of Kongo at UFC 159.
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