UFC 159: Power Ranking the Main Card Fights
Welcome to Bleacher Report, where we rank things.
You're in the UFC section, and UFC 159 went down on Saturday night. So how about we rank that?
UFC 159 saw a few solid fights despite some absolutely ridiculous buildup. In addition, two controversial finishes on the FX portion of the preliminary card provided a poor lead-in to the pay-per-view leg of the event. So why don't we just go ahead and rank the fights because you don't have anything better to read!
So here we go!
No. 5: Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher
If you like tentative stand-up, this was the fight for you. Alan Belcher and Michael Bisping are both solid strikers, but neither was especially excited by the idea of trading. It took almost three minutes before a punch actually landed.
Bisping ended up finding his reach after about eight minutes, but he never really had Belcher in danger. Belcher, meanwhile, struggled to land and ended up gassing hard toward the end of the second round. He could barely even throw punches by the third.
In the last round, Bisping poked Belcher in the eye—the same eye that was recently repaired by surgery, naturally. This led to a technical decision that saw Bisping get the nod and give no regard to the fact that his sloppiness may have ended his opponent's career.
It was a downright bad fight in every possible way.
No. 4: Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes
Phil Davis is ranked as the No. 8 light heavyweight in the UFC. Vinny Magalhaes is ranked a whole lot lower. That difference showed as Davis out-pointed Magalhaes for three rounds with little effort but stayed a safe distance away from finishing the entire time.
This wasn't especially surprising, as both fighters are high-level grapplers who lack stand-up skills. Still, Davis' striking proved to be more advanced, and his wrestling was good enough to keep Magalhaes off him from start to finish.
Because of that, we had a boring, less-than-technical bout between two fighters who were both out of their comfort zone. At least it didn't have a controversial finish.
In this card, that counts for something.
No. 3: Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen
The night's main event was generally solid, even if it was painfully predictable.
Just as everyone suspected, Jon Jones destroyed Chael Sonnen. He took him down repeatedly and smashed him with powerful elbows before finishing him with a big knee and punches.
Granted, Sonnen landed some big punches early on in the clinch but never threatened Jones...that he knew of. As you probably heard or saw in the post-fight interview, Jon Jones mangled his toe; if Sonnen had survived 27 more seconds, he probably would have gotten a TKO victory.
How crazy is that?
No. 2: Pat Healy vs. Jim Miller
Pat Healy and Jim Miller gave us one of the best fights of the night and one of the funniest moments from recent UFC history.
The two wrestlers rolled, punched hard and left everything on the mat. Well, Jim Miller left everything on the mat because he was choked unconscious. But still, the figurative meaning is also accurate, because they both fought hard and left the fans wanting more after an ugly night filled with decisions and technicalities.
Healy's submission win was a huge upset that won both Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night. It also injected a new contender into the 155-lb title picture.
No. 1: Cheick Kongo vs. Roy Nelson
Roy Nelson is pretty good at this whole fighting thing, and he added yet another massive knockout to his ever-expanding highlight reel.
Once again, Nelson threw a huge overhand right that landed flush. Once again, it led to a knockout. Once again, it happened in the first round.
It's a huge win for “Big Country," who cemented his place as a Top-10 heavyweight and proved himself to be more than a gatekeeper. It was also more than good enough to earn Knockout of the Night.
While Nelson has yet to beat a top heavyweight in his career, he has yet to give us a boring fight. That counts for something.