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UFC 159 weigh-in: Chael Sonnen offers bold closing remarks

Alan Belcher shoves Michael Bisping; Nick Catone comes in two pounds too heavy

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen takes part in a news conference to promote his bout against champion Anderson Silva at UFC 148 Tuesday, July 3, 2012.

Those lamenting a sharp reduction in the amount of boasts and brags from Chael Sonnen before UFC 159 left Friday’s weigh-in at the Prudential Center happy.

After making weight for his light heavyweight title fight against Jon Jones (205), Sonnen (205) delivered a speech in his vintage form.

“I’m happy you and everyone here can be here to witness this,” Sonnen said to UFC commentator Joe Rogan and the crowd after stepping off the scale. “You’re going to tell your kids’ kids’ kids that he was real. He existed. The myth of Chael Sonnen stood before us, he brought down the hometown hero, and when it was all said and done, it was one more in the record books, one more in the win column and one more for the bad guy.”

Jones, from Endicott, N.Y., may be some 2,700 miles closer to his hometown, but it was the self-anointed “Gangster from West Linn, Ore.” who drew the more receptive greeting Friday.

Fans rose to their feet and cheered the loudest as Sonnen walked across the stage. The longtime middleweight sipped on a Coca-Cola as Jones peeked out behind a curtain, and eventually, weighed in himself.

The crowd mostly booed Jones the whole time he was in front of them, even when the champion tossed his Nike shoes into the stands as souvenirs.

“I’m here to conquer,” Jones said. “I’m here to be courageous. That’s about it.”

Jones positioned his head straight down, as he does with most opponents, and refused to look at Sonnen while they faced off for a photo. He did bow to Sonnen after breaking the pose, though.

Jones and Sonnen got over their rivalry as opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter” 17 — a luxury others on this card didn’t have. Two of the three headlining bouts below Jones vs. Sonnen carry bad blood that boiled over to the weigh-in.

Click to enlarge photo

Michael Bisping weighs in during The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale weigh-in at The Palms in Las Vegas Friday, December 2, 2011.

Michael Bisping (186) and Alan Belcher (185) continued trash talking as they have over the last several years with both fighters pointing in each other’s faces. Belcher eventually shoved Bisping slightly, at which point UFC President Dana White broke them apart.

Light heavyweights Phil Davis (205) and Vinny Magalhaes (205.5) aren’t fond of each other, either. A war of words over twitter turned into Magalhaes closing the distance during their stare down pose and saying something to Davis.

Most of the undercard fighters stayed in line, with only New Jersey native and welterweight Nick Catone (173) missing weight. Catone forfeits 20 percent of his purse to opponent James Head (170.25) as a penalty.

Find full results from the UFC 159 weigh-in below.

Light heavyweight championship bout: Jon Jones (205) vs. Chael Sonnen (205)

Middleweight bout: Michael Bisping (186) vs. Alan Belcher (185)

Heavyweight bout: Roy Nelson (258) vs. Cheick Kongo (237)

Light heavyweight bout: Phil Davis (205) vs. Vinny Magalhaes (205.5)

Lightweight bout: Jim Miller (155) vs. Pat Healy (155.5)

Lightweight bout: Rustam Khabilov (156) vs. Yancy Medeiros (155.5)

Light heavyweight bout: Gian Villante (206) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (206)

Women’s bantamweight bout: Sara McMann (134) vs. Sheila Gaff (133)

Bantamweight bout: Bryan Caraway (136) vs. Johnny Bedford (136)

Featherweight bout: Leonard Garcia (145) vs. Cody McKenzie (145)

Welterweight bout: Nick Catone (173) vs. James Head (170.25)

Featherweight bout: Steven Siler (145.25) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (145)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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