UFC 159: Last-Minute Odds and Predictions for Tonight's Main Card

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2013

Apr 26, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Michael Bisping (left )and Alan Belcher face off after being weighed in for their middleweight bout at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After months and months of hype and build up to the light heavyweight championship fight between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, UFC 159 is finally upon us.

Not only will fans be treated to the highly-anticipated title fight, but Joe Silva and Co. have put together an interesting main card that should be entertaining throughout the night.

If you haven't locked in your picks for all of Saturday's marquee bouts there's still a little bit of time left. Consider this your last-minute preview for all the action set to go down at 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view. All odds via Bovada.


Jim Miller (-310) vs. Pat Healy (+240)

The pay-per-view card kicks with one of the UFC's most underrated lightweights taking on a former Strikeforce contender making his debut in the organization.  

Healy is a veteran with plenty of experience outside of the UFC. He's a scrappy challenger for the heavily favored Miller and his six-fight win streak is proof that you can't judge him by his 29-16 record.

However, Miller is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division and doesn't lose unless he's going against the best. All four of his losses have come to either UFC champions or a contender that has fought for the belt.

This will be an entertaining scrap, but Miller does just enough to win it.

Prediction: Miller via Unanimous Decision


Phil Davis (-305) vs. Vinny Magalhaes (+235)

This fight can go one of two ways: If it goes to the ground we're going to see a highly competitive grappling match that will pit Davis' elite wrestling against Magalhaes' slick jiu-jitsu. It will be awesome.

If both fighters respect each others ground game and refuse to take it to the mat we could get a rather uninspiring kickboxing match. It will not be awesome.

Considering the confidence both of these guys have in their grappling ability its more likely we see that aspect of their games in action. If that's the case Davis' wrestling holds the advantage here. He won't get a submission, but he'll spend enough time in dominant position to get the submission.

Prediction: Davis by Unanimous Decision


Roy Nelson (-260) vs. Cheick Kongo (+200)

Here's another one that seems like it could go two directions.

Both Nelson and Kongo have been known to swap leather with the best of them, but both have been known to be serious wall and stall fighters from time to time.

Considering these guys are both gatekeepers at this point, it's for the best that they focus on putting on a show. Expect to see the slugging version of both.

If that's the case, Nelson should come through on his favorite status. He has knocked out his last two opponents and has a chin that can withstand the best from Kongo.

Prediction: Nelson via 2nd-round TKO


Michael Bisping (-175) vs. Alan Belcher (+145)

In terms of competitive bouts, this is the real main event. Bisping and Belcher are about as evenly matched as they come.

Bisping is coming off of a brutal loss to Vitor Belfort, but has actually displayed a good amount of toughness in his fights previous to that one. Belcher is a versatile striker and submission ace that can end the fight wherever it goes.

Bisping would be well-advised to use his technical kickboxing to keep Belcher at bay. But can he avoid Belcher's power for three rounds. That will be tough, he could be going down again.

Prediction: Belcher via 3rd-round TKO

Jon Jones (-900) vs. Chael Sonnen (+550)

This is the main attraction, even if it's not the closest matchup on paper.

As far as his work in the octagon goes, Sonnen doesn't deserve this fight. He hasn't fought at 205 pounds in years and he's coming off of a loss against Anderson Silva, however, his willingness to step up against the champ is admirable. Now he has to prove that he can at least challenge him.

If Sonnen can get in Jones' face early and try to wear him down, things may get interesting. The more likely outcome is a deliberate beating from Jones that sets up a finish in either the second or third round.

Prediction: Jones via 3rd-round TKO