For better or for worse, UFC 159 had it all.
It had some underwhelming fights; it had some massively entertaining fights. It had some questionable and disappointing finishes; it had some enthralling, powerful finishes.
The action from the Prudential Center in Newark was seemingly up and down, but we're here to take a look at the positive side of the event—and at the fighters who were most impressive in their wins.
3. Pat Healy (Defeated Jim Miller via Submission)
If we're talking strictly in terms of bonus money, then Pat Healy—who took home $130,000 for Submission and Fight of the Night—is the night's biggest winner.
(So, yeah, basically he's the night's biggest winner. Money is good)
The 29-year-old lightweight deserved it, too, as he put together an absolute gem to earn the submission victory against the hometown favorite—and elite wrestler—Jim Miller.
Miller controlled the first round, but Healy showcased his resiliency, dominating the second and continuing to put on the pressure in the third.
With the time running down, he was able to get Miller into a devastating rear-naked choke to put the Jersey boy to sleep.
Not bad for a guy who came into the fight with a career 0-1 UFC record against an extremely tough fighter who had been submitted just once previously in his career.
2. Roy Nelson (Defeated Cheick Kongo via Knockout)
If you need Roy Nelson summed up in one perfectly perfect sentence, take the words of Big Country himself (via UFC on FOX):
FOX Sports: UFC @UFCONFOX
"Conditioning? I don't need conditioning if I'm only going one round..." - @roynelsonmma http://t.co/ZCF9Y9q2dY4/28/2013, 6:38:13 PM
The man has a point.
There have always been questions about the 6'0", 258-pounder's conditioning, but those questions quickly become drowned out by knockout punches like this one:
Poor, poor Cheick Kongo.
Nelson has now won three fights in a row all via knockout in the first round, and after Saturday's incredibly impressive Knockout of the Night, the momentum for a title shot is picking up.
Should he fight (per Tom Igo of 5th Round) and beat 12-0 Daniel Cormier, he may just get it.
1. Jon Jones (Defeated Chael Sonnen via Referee Stoppage)
I don't think Saturday's win established Jon Jones as the undoubted best pound-for-pound fighter in the business, but it certainly proved he belongs in the thick of the conversation.
Jones destroyed Sonnen. He took him behind the woodshed and gave him an old-fashioned beating.
And he did it without taking advantage of his superior length. He controlled Sonnen with punches and elbows, repeatedly taking him down. Eventually, after pinning him against the cage, Jones unleashed another furry of hits that forced the ref to end the fight in the first round.
Sonnen was fighting outside of his weight class, but anytime you can completely dominate an accomplished competitor with such ease, it's an impressive feat.
Oh, and by the way, Jones did all of that with a mangled toe. Sometime during the fight, he suffered a nasty open fracture on his big toe, but didn't even realize it until he was finished with the whooping.
That is a man's man's man right there.