Chael Sonnen will fight an uphill battle tonight at UFC 159 when he challenges Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship.
So this leads to the question of the night—does Sonnen actually have a chance tonight against Jones? The optimistic part of me wants to say yes, but the reasonable side is simply saying no.
Sure, it's a fight and anything can happen, but styles make fights. Quite frankly, this stylistic matchup does not favor Sonnen.
Think about it. What's Sonnen's key to victory tonight? It's his double-leg takedown and ground-and-pound. See where I'm going here? Jones is the best in the UFC in takedown defense, as his percentage is a perfect 100 percent.
As that statistic suggests, getting Jones down will be much easier said than done. Odds are that Jones will stuff Sonnen's takedown and keep this fight standing.
That should make for quite a long night for Sonnen. Sonnen's boxing is underrated, but Jones' striking is on a whole different level. Jones will use his distance and pick Sonnen apart from the outside. This could lead to an eventual stoppage for Jones.
If Jones doesn't stop the fight early though, Sonnen's chances will increase.
Sonnen's conditioning is unmatched in the light heavyweight division, and after all, Jones' conditioning has always been his seemingly only weakness.
Should Sonnen drag Jones into deeper water, this could be a different fight entirely. Will that happen Saturday night?
Could we actually see Sonnen win his first UFC championship?
Don't bet on it, friends. Sonnen is as tough as they come, but he always seems to blow the big fights. It all seems to be mental with Sonnen, as submission defeats haunt his championship dreams.
Who will win tonight's main event?
Before Jones locks in that eventual submission, look for him to keep this fight on the feet and batter Sonnen with shots.
Because of Jones' patience and Sonnen's durability, Sonnen should survive the first round. Entering the second round, Jones will continue his offensive attack on the feet until he gets Sonnen to the ground and works his top position.
There, Jones will find a choke from the top position somewhat similar to the one he applied on Ryan Bader. And still the light heavyweight champion of the world...
Odds: Jones (-800), Sonnen (+500) according to Bovada
Prediction: Jones wins by Submission (Choke) in the 2nd Round