UFC 159: Biggest Surprises from Monumental MMA Event
UFC 159 is officially in the books, as 11 fights transpired and an equal amount of fighters emerged victorious. From vicious knockouts to mesmerizing submissions to disturbing injuries, there was a little bit of everything at this brutal event.
The question is, what were the most surprising results?
The card was deep and the results were varied across the board. With three unanimous decisions, two technical decisions, three TKO, two submissions and a knockout, we saw everything you could possibly imagine.
That includes broken toes and bleeding eyeballs, for those that enjoy the unnecessarily gruesome aspects of mixed martial arts.
Regardless of what you were looking for, UFC 159 provided all of the shock and awe you could ask for in one evening. When it comes to the truly stunning events, however, there were a select few moments that stood above the rest.
For better or worse.
Brevity of the Fights
The undercard for UFC 159 was highlighted with Steven Siler defeating Kurt Holobaugh and Cody McKenzie taking down Leonard Garcia. Both of those battles were decided by unanimous decision, which had some believing that we'd have a competitive evening.
Not so much.
After those two clashes, just one fight went past three rounds. That was Phil Davis' unanimous decision victory over Vinny Magalhaes, which was more of a rangy clinic than an evenly witted clash.
The rest of the card mirrored the one-sided nature of Davis' win.
Four fights ended in the first round, including the main event, and another two ended in the third round due to disturbing injuries. While Sara McMann and Shelia Gaff brought excitement in their fight, the women ended their brawl in the first round, as well.
While the size of the card permitted early endings, it was certainly surprising to see so many one-sided affairs.
Injuries All Around
When you're in a sport as brutal as mixed martial arts, no one expects to walk away unscathed. With that being said, few expected UFC 159 to be as gruesome as it proved to be.
Jon "Bones" Jones suffered a broken toe, Alan Belcher was bleeding from his eyeball, Yancy Medeiros severely damaged his thumb, and Gian Villante was poked in the eye and was thus forced to stop fighting.
Jones didn't know that his toe was broken until after the fight, but that doesn't take away from how gruesome the injury he sustained proved to be. Not only was there blood, but the Twittersphere wasted no time in sharing their thoughts.
The common theme was, "How is it bending that way?"
The simple description of, "Bleeding from his eyeball" should say enough about what Belcher went through at this event. The same can be said for Villante, who experienced the unfortunate pain of a poke to the eye.
With a thumb that looked either broken or dislocated, no one will question Medeiros' pain.
This was the unfortunate theme throughout the evening, as a masterful craft turned into a display of barbarism. For those who chose to watch a UFC event for the first time, this clearly wasn't the message UFC president Dana White was hoping to send.
How could you not be surprised by how many severe injuries were sustained in one night?
Chael Sonnen's Humility
Who thought they'd read that when the night ended?
Jon "Bones" Jones took care of business in dominant fashion, defeating Chael Sonnen by TKO during the first round of their much-hyped fight. After Sonnen spent months calling Jones out and further developing his reputation as a villain, many expected Sonnen to come out and question the referee stoppage.
Instead, Sonnen chose to praise Jones as the better fighter and acknowledge that it was the right decision to stop the fight—wait, what?
According to John Morgan of USA TODAY Sports, Sonnen had the following to say during his post-fight interview.
"[Jon Jones is] an excellent fighter," [Chael] Sonnen said. "I have no problem with the decision or the stoppage. He's very powerful. When he went for the kill, he never stopped. I thought I was alright, but I think he's the better fighter. ... I'm not going to be one of the guys to hang around. If there's not a road to the title, then this sport isn't for me. I believe that was probably my last opportunity."
In a stark contrast to what we've grown accustomed to hearing come out of Sonnen's mouth, he had nothing but positive things to say about Jones.
It became clear during the interview process that Jones shares the positive sentiment. Not only did he praise Sonnen's abilities, but also his class after the fight.
It was beyond pleasant to see Sonnen's role as a villain capped off by an honorable post-match speech. If you didn't respect him before, maybe you can find an ounce of admiration after UFC 159.
On a night in which nothing seemed to go according to plan, Sonnen was simply the icing on the cake.
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