UFC generally puts forth some pretty impressive cards, but the UFC 159 event promises to be better than most. Not only will it be headlined by an intriguing matchup between Jon "Bones" Jones and Chael Sonnen, but there are several other bouts that could very well pass as Fight of the Year candidates when it's all said and done.
Some of the most exciting fighters in the sport will be competing on Saturday night and that should make for an awesome show. While everyone is capable of stepping up and impressing the fans, only a small handful of fighters will be able to shine brighter than everyone else.
Here are three fighters who will come up with huge performances at UFC 159 and ultimately steal the show.
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones is arguably the best and most dominant fighter in the sport, so it is always a spectacle when he steps into the Octagon. He has come up with some spectacular victories over the years and stands to score another one on Saturday night when he faces Chael Sonnen in a massive title clash.
While Sonnen is a great fighter in his own right, his bark tends to be worse than his bite.
He struggles against elite fighters and Jones definitely fits into that category. Sonnen has done plenty of talking leading up to the fight just as he always does, and Jones is likely eager to let his fists do the talking. Jones has a great chance to make a statement and he will.
Sonnen's mouth often writes checks that his body can't cash, and there is little doubt that he has bitten off more than he can chew when it comes to Jones. If fans aren't already convinced that Jones is the best pound-for-pound fighter in UFC, he'll prove it with a virtuoso performance on Saturday.
It is no secret that UFC has been trying to expand into women's fighting recently thanks to the increasing popularity of Ronda Rousey, and there are some other talent females who are getting a chance to shine because of it.
One of them is Sara McMann, who will face Sheila Gaff in a bantamweight bout at UFC 159. McMann was a silver medalist in freestyle wrestling at the 2004 Athens Olympics and she will show her grappling skills on Saturday.
McMann owns a perfect 6-0 record and while her opponent is no pushover, McMann is a fairly significant favorite.
Gaff is actually more experienced when it comes to MMA despite being nine years younger than the 32-year-old McMann, but McMCann has been competing in combat sports for many years, so she should be able to handle herself.
Gaff rarely goes the distance and McMann is adept when it comes to submissions, so look for her to get Gaff into a compromising position early and put her away. Women fighting in UFC have a huge responsibility as they are trying to prove that they can be as entertaining as the men, and McMann will hold up her end of the bargain at UFC 159.
Perhaps Michael Bisping isn't an elite UFC fighter, but he is among the most exciting competitors in MMA today.
Almost all of his fights involve fireworks as he goes for the win early and often via knockout or submission, and he figures to do the same against Alan Belcher on Saturday night. In 28 career fights only eight of Bisping's bouts have gone the distance, and Belcher's fights often end early as well, so this one should involve plenty of action.
Bisping is a slight favorite and there is no guarantee that he'll win, but he is going to do everything possible to make it happen. There is nothing worse than a boring and apprehensive UFC fight as people pay good money to see competition. If there is one thing that Bisping always does, it is ensuring that fans get their money's worth.
It is quite possible that Bisping vs. Belcher could be the Fight of the Night and Bisping's aggressiveness has a lot to do with that. Even if Bisping goes down in a blaze of glory, he'll keep the fans entertained on Saturday.
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