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Published Saturday, April 27, 2013 | 6:55 p.m.
Updated Saturday, April 27, 2013 | 9:39 p.m.
- UFC 159 breakdown, betting odds and picks
- UFC 159 weigh-in: Chael Sonnen offers bold closing remarks
- From timid striker to knockout brute, Roy Nelson hopes to stay on tear at UFC 159
- Jon Jones seems like an unlikely fighter, but inside the UFC cage, he’s ruthless
- Chael Sonnen complimentary of Jon Jones before UFC 159
- Jon Jones talks Chael Sonnen, the heavyweight class and more at UFC on Fox 6
- Introducing the 14 finalists on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’: Jones vs. Sonnen
- Jon Jones wanted to fight Chael Sonnen to move on from recent controversy
- Roy Nelson closing in on top of UFC heavyweight division with another knockout victory
- Analysis: Chael Sonnen might just talk his way into a fight with Jon Jones
- UFC 159 section
- UFC coverage
Note: Full results from the preliminary card available at the bottom of the page.
NEWARK, N.J. — It's a good thing Jon Jones beat Chael Sonnen when he did.
If the fight would have made it to the second round, Sonnen may have potentially beaten Jones by virtue of an injury TKO. Jones severely broke his big toe, to the point that the bone stuck out on the telecast, but it didn't stop him from earning a TKO over Sonnen with 27 seconds to go in the first round.
"My adrenaline is on right now," Jones said while still in the cage, "but I'm going to be in some pain tonight."
Despite the gruesome injury, Jones had to celebrate this one. It went perfectly, as the champion executed his strategy exactly as he planned.
Jones took Sonnen down three times during the short length of the fight, something he set out to do after hearing Sonnen had an wrestling advantage in the fight. That wasn't the only thing that motivated Jones. Sonnen killed his notorious trash talk as the bout drew closer, but the wounds were already created with his numerous denouncements of the champion from last year.
"We went through a lot of drama," Jones said. "He motivated me a lot."
Sonnen had no boasts to offer after the loss. He stood in the octagon with his head slightly tilted down and hinted that he would contemplate retirement.
"I thought I could keep up with him," Sonnen said of Jones. "I was very surprised with his power and size. I'm very disappointed. I thought I had more in me."
Jones wasn't the only fighter to suffer an injury at the Prudential Center. In the co-main event, Alan Belcher got poked in the eye so badly that his fight with Michael Bisping had to go to a technical decision in the third round.
Bisping won the decision by scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
"It was a shame that I caught him with the thumb at the end, and I apologized for that," Bisping said. "He’s a hell of a performer. There was a lot of trash talk in the lead-up to the fight, but I think we all have to do that to psych ourselves up."
Heavyweight Roy Nelson and lightweight Pat Healy were far more decisive. Nelson knocked out Cheick Kongo 2:03 into the second round. Healy got a late submission, forcing Jim Miller to tap out at 4:02 of the third round.
Phil Davis cruised in his light heavyweight bout against Vinny Magalhaes, winning every round en route to a unanimous decision.
Find full coverage from UFC 159 below — with a round-by-round live blog of the main card and preliminary results at the bottom — and come back for stories and more later.
Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen
First Round Jones converts a single-leg takedown within the first 12 seconds. Sonnen pops back up and swings at Jones from the clinch. Jones shoots for a double-leg takedown and presses Sonnen against the fence. Sonnen knees the champion and stays up. Sonnen getting some swings off with his back against the cage. Jones dumps Sonnen on his back. Sonnen eats a couple big elbows that makes the crowd gasp. Sonnen gets up, but Jones is wrapped around his back. Jones keeps the pressure on Sonnen against the fence. Sonnen dirty-boxes while Jones looks for a takedown. Jones switches from a double-leg to a single-leg attempt but he won't score a third straight takedown. Jones breaks out and hits Sonnen with a spinning elbow. Sonnen gets Jones in a Muay Thai clinch and pounds him with a knee. Jones picks up Sonnen and slams him. The crowd is on Jones' side and cheers the fight going to the ground. Jones works short, choppy elbows as Sonnen looks to escape again. Jones is more smothering this time, though. He loads up big ground-and-pound punches. Sonnen slides so his head is against the fence. Jones pulls him off a little bit and gets back to his elbows. Sonnen swings from his back, but he's taking a lot of damage. Sonnen sweeps and gets pummeled with elbows and right hands. He's bloody and the referee has seen enough. Jones runs across the cage and springs a cartwheel. Jon Jones defeats Chael Sonnen by TKO at 4:33 of the first round.
Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher
Third Round They exchange early with each fighter having successful moments. Belcher smiles after a leg kick and Bisping powers forward with a right hook followed by a straight left. Bisping sees Belcher drop his hands and pounces with a right hand. Belcher gets some back with a hook of his own that finds Bisping's face. Bisping counters with an uppercut and keeps the pressure on. Bisping comes forward for a while and lands some right hands. Back in the middle, Belcher whips a kick across the body and a right hand. But Bisping seizes control with a steady dose of hooks. Bisping cuts loose a combination. Bisping rocks Belcher with a left hand at the two-minute mark. Belcher covers up as Bisping comes forward with another combination. Bisping catches Belcher cleanly with a right. Belcher shhots for a takedown but Bisping sprawls and pushes him against the fence. Bisping breaks out and lands a combination. Bisping tags Belcher again with a left hand and a jab. Belcher falls over after one Bisping punch and claims an eye-poke. Replays show Bisping poked Belcher square in the right eye, which is now bleeding. A technical decision is on tap. Michael Bisping defeats Alan Belcher by technical decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Second Round Bisping leg kicks to get started. He tags Belcher with a right. And then a left. Bisping looking fresh to start the second. They trade leg kicks, but Bisping fires a heavy jab. Belcher advances but Bisping gets out of the way of a combination. Bisping gets a leg kick to go, and it's maybe the loudest one yet. They throw simultaneous leg kicks, but Bisping supplements his with a left hand that gets Belcher off balance. In the middle of the octagon, they trade uppercuts in about a five-second span. A left hook from Bisping scores nicely. Bisping counters Belcher's next advance with precision. Bisping looks to head kick about 30 seconds later. It misses and Belcher comes forward and gets blasted with a right hand. Bisping tracks Belcher down with another right hand. He's starting to telegraph the strikes, but it's not helping Belcher get away. Belcher goes back to leg kicks with two minutes to go. Bisping controls the center of the octagon and pieces together a kick and a right hand. The crowd boos from the lack of action, and the two finally exchange. Bisping tags Belcher with a left and then a combination. Belcher comes forward now and gets a right hand to go. Bisping charges forward with two better punches, though. Belcher jabs late. Bisping push kicks and shoos Belcher away from a takedown attempt. Belcher finds his range for a right hand and an uppercut. Belcher turning it on late, but Bisping scores with a combination at the final bell. Bisping evens the score, 19-19, after winning the second.
First Round Belcher gets things started with a leg kick. He's backing up Bisping early. Belcher continues to use his kicks, hitting Bisping in the knee and then the body. Bisping finally cuts loose with a left hand, but Belcher comes right back with a kick. Bisping gets a right hook to land. Belcher stays on the kick train before breaking out with a left hook. He's the one with rhythm so far as another kick to the body works. The area around Bisping's abs has turned red. Bisping comes forward and checks a couple kicks from Belcher. He jabs Belcher into the fence and then leg kicks a few seconds later. Belcher comes forward but Bisping uses head movement to get out of the way of a big right hand. Bisping gets a combination to go — finally — and then an overhand right. Belcher presses forward again and tags Bisping with a left. Belcher's jab works as his corner begs him to pressure. Bisping starts to jab with about 1:15 to go. He pieces together some unanswered punches and gets Belcher going backwards. Belcher finally counters one of the advances. Belcher closes the distance and elbows Bisping, who gets poked in the eye. Fight is stopped. Once re-started, they exchange with Bisping landing the most significant strike with a kick to the body. Belcher loses his balance and tumbles towards the cage after a jab from Bisping. Belcher lands another kick before the bell and Bisping gets a couple jabs to go. Belcher wins the first round, 10-9.
Roy Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo
First Round Nelson pushes Kongo against the fence when they first look to engage. Nelson wants to back out, but Kongo has his arms and keeps him in the clinch. Nelson briefly looks for a takedown. The referee eventually breaks them apart. Nelson looks to track down Kongo and does with a right hand. Kongo is out with one punch. Crowd goes wild. Roy Nelson knocks out Cheick Kongo at 2:03 of the first round.
Phil Davis vs. Vinny Magalhaes
Third Round Magalhaes comes out aggressive but Davis gets away from a head kick and most of his other punches. Magalhaes keeps trying and keeps Davis on the backpedal. "Mr. Wonderful" starts to jab and then uses an overhand right to score. Magalhaes leg kicks. Davis swats Magalhaes with a jab, but comes up short with an elbow. Magalhaes looks to close the distance but Davis' superior strength shows as he pushes Magalhaes to the ground. He won't follow. Davis pounds Magalhaes against the fence with jabs and right hands to the body. Davis follows a kick with a left hook and Magalhaes circles out. Crowd boos as Magalhaes continues to have no answer to "Mr. Wonderful". Magalhaes just can't box with Davis, as another successful left hand shows. Magalhaes takes more punishment with a combination against the cage. Magalhaes wants to clinch, but Davis gets out. Magalhaes shoots for a takedown, but he's not fast enough for Davis. Magalhaes gets up and comes forward, but Davis weaves out. He comes in with a jab and then backs down Magalhaes into the fence. Davis throws a Superman punch with 30 seconds to go. Magalhaes is good at keeping his hands up against Davis' constant punches, but he hasn't done much else right. Davis wins a lopsided 30-27 decision on this scorecard. Phil Davis beats Vinny Magalhaes by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Second Round Davis looks to jab, but Magalhaes comes forward with his right hand. They exchange until Davis retreats. Davis comes back in with a left hook. He shoots for a takedown after one combination. Magalhaes eventually winds up on his back. Davis is on his knees throwing punches into the Las Vegas local's chin. Davis stands and motions for Magalhaes to do the same. Davis gets low and scores with a straight right. Davis starts looking for body shots, which Magalhaes isn't checking as well as punches to the head. Magalhaes combines his punches and kicks for some offense. Davis is staying relentless, though. He shakes off a couple leg kicks to come forward for a barrage of one-two combinations. Magalhaes isn't taking much damage, but he's landing no offense. Crowd begins to boo as Davis shuffles and waits for Magalhaes to engage. Magalhaes kicks to the body and Davis pushes him to the ground. Davis makes him get back up and mixes his left hand with a body shot. Davis' is moving smoothly, his confidence having clearly grown through the first four minutes of this round. Magalhaes' face is bloody and Davis begins to work elbows. A Magalhaes sighting finally appears as he jabs. Magalhes shoots for a takedown that Davis gets away from. Davis swings and uses a push kick during the scramble. Round ends with Davis scoring his jab. Davis goes up 20-18 after another successful round.
First Round They start with a sloppy exchange. Davis blocks a couple of Magalhaes' kicks and lands a right hand to the chin. Then Davis goes to the body. They exchange kicks with neither dropping. Magalhaes closes the distance and locks up with Davis against the fence. Davis drags him out and throws him back towards the middle. Magalhaes goes to his leg kicks. Davis strings together a left hand and then a jab. A right hook from Davis sends Magalhaes crashing into the fence. Davis finds his striking range with more jabs and right hands. Davis looks for an up kick and Magalhaes breathes heavy after a barrage of strikes. Magalhaes retreats from Davis and struggles dealing with the quickness. Magalhaes catches a Davis kick, though, and brings the standout wrestler to the ground. Magalhaes tries to get on Davis' back, but "Mr. Wonderful" sweeps and then jumps to his feet. He makes Magalhaes get up instead of going down to play jiu-jitsu. Magalhaes comes forward and Davis evades easily. Davis throws a couple left hooks and then an uppercut. A coupld land. Davis circles around Magalhaes and fires combinations. Magalhaes flings a leg kick. Magalhaes signals he can't see after an exchange but the fight goes on. Davis tracks him down and lands a steady dose of left hands. Magalhaes scores with a kick across the body. Davis' punches are still working, though. He lands several that go unanswered before the bell. Davis leads 10-9.
Jim Miller vs. Pat Healy
Third Round The crowd gives a nice roar as Miller comes forward. Healy gets a right to the body to go. Miller lands on Healy's jaw. Healy shoots, but Miller dodges the takedown. They briefly go to the ground with Miller as the aggressor but bounce right back up. Miller works his leg kicks again and fires an uppercut that grazes Healy's chin. Healy powers forward and clinches against the cage. Miller turns around and backs out. Miller drops Healy with a right hand. Healy may have slipped because he's right back up and pressing forward. Healy clinches and looks to get a takedown. Miller isn't having it. But Healy's persistence pays off and the fight goes to the ground. Healy lands a bunch of unanswered left hands from the top. He's in the half guard of Miller, who doesn't have any room to operate. Miller fires an elbow to Healy's side that gets the Strikeforce veteran to move. Healy stands over Miller firing elbows and punches. He looks for a choke, but Miller is crafty and keeps his head away. Miller can't escape the punches, though. Healy has thrown, and scored with, a bunch this round. Miller takes some in order to try to get to his feet, but Healy comes around to his back. Healy wants a late rear-naked choke. It's deep and Miller goes limp. Referee calls off the fight. Pat Healy submits Jim Miller at 4:02 of the third round.
Second Round Healy comes forward and lands a combination. He closes the distance and knees Miller. Clinched up against the cage, Healy dirty boxes until Miller reverses position. Healy stays active until Miller pushes him back to the middle. Healy's face swells as Miller hits him with a straight right. There's a right cross from Miller. Back in the clinch, Miller looks stronger than Healy this time and pressures him into the fence. Healy lands a right, though, and shoots for a takedown. Miller goes down but kicks Healy off of him. Healy stands over Miller before going down into his guard. Miller throws elbows from the bottom, and Healy wings punches to the body. When Healy gets an am lose from Miller, he starts training more traditional ground-and-pound. Against the fence, Miller might be in trouble. He's bleeding and eating a lot of elbows. Miller gets to a knee, but Healy pounces and takes his back — with one hook in at least. Miller uses the cage to make sure Healy doesn't completely take his back. Miller slides, though, and there it is. Healy has his back for a moment but transitions into mount. Miller slithers out and gives Healy an elbow for his trouble. Healy is still pressuring but Miller is sat up in a more advantageous position against the fence now. Miller stands, but Healy dumps him right back down. Miller starts to work for a guillotine, but ultimately uses it to get up. Healy wins that round 10-9 to make the score 19-19.
First Round They drift towards the left of the cage instead of the middle lie normal. Healy throws a combination. Miller answers with an elbow. Miller counters with a body shot after Healy circles and comes forward. Trading in the middle now after a Miller leg kick tripped Healy up, both come up empty on punches. Miller goes to his leg kick again. Miller locks up with Healy and tosses him down after taking one knee to the stomach. Miller is in Healy's guard, but throwing ground-and-pound when available. Healy tries to get a hold of Miller's arm, which causes a lull in action for a while. Healy flips over and now it's Miller's turn to look for submissions. He thinks about a choke, but works for a kimura instead. It looks like Miller has a chance and the crowd's voices rise but Healy sweeps out. They go back to the feet with Healy eating a right from Miller upon arrival. Miller circle and keeps Healy off-kilter with a leg kick. But Healy comes forward and pounds Miller with a combination. Less than a minute later, the Oregon native takes the hometown favorite down along the fence. Miller covers up as Healy flings ground-and-pound. Healy looks to get in dominant position on Miller's back, but Miller gets up with the opening. Healy slams him down. Miller sweeps to top position. Healy looks for a leglock , but ends the round getting slammed with punches. Very close first round, but the Sun leans to Miller 10-9.
NEWARK, N.J. — Now it’s time for Jon Jones to shine, or so the 25-year old champion believes.
Jones vies for something he’s set as a goal for years in the main event of UFC 159 against Chael Sonnen tonight at the Prudential Center. Jones will tie Tito Ortiz’s record of five straight light heavyweight title defenses with a victory over Sonnen.
He’s a massive favorite to do so. Up to this point, however, Sonnen has won everything that could possibly be construed as competitive.
Sonnen’s team of middleweights beat Jones’ squad of competitors on the 17th season of “The Ultimate Fighter”. Sonnen even defeated Jones in the coach’s challenge on the long-running reality show.
Then the focus shifted to Sonnen’s real area of expertise — pre-fight promotion. Sonnen toned down his act ahead of UFC 159, but still was far more visible than Jones who seemed uncomfortable at times hyping the bout.
Jones’ response to all this stayed the same throughout — His moment was coming on April 27. That’s where he would get his victory.
To many, the only question is how Jones will beat Sonnen. He seems to hold the vast majority of advantages, especially in the striking and submission departments.
With world-championship level wrestling, Sonnen’s only route to victory might be taking down Jones and controlling him for 25 minutes. That’s something that’s never been accomplished before in the UFC.
The rest of the fights on the pay-per-view card, on the surface, look more competitive. Many fans, in fact, are crooning over the co-main event more than the main event.
That’s a product of Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher engaging in verbal warfare for months before their middleweight match. No matter how much they try to downgrade each other, they are two top-10 ranked 185-pound fighters who will get a significant boost in their profile with a victory tonight.
The other ranked fighters on the main card are heavyweight Roy Nelson, light heavyweight Phil Davis and lightweight Jim Miller.
No. 6 Nelson has muttered “title shot” a few times himself and a win over Cheick Kongo would at least move him closer. No. 8 Davis, once beaten in his career, will need to down Brazilian jiu-jitsu standout Vinny Magalhaes to keep his lofty status intact.
In the opener, No. 4 Miller welcomes Pat Healy back to the octagon. Healy came over from Strikeforce after first fighting in the UFC seven years ago.
Stay tuned to lasvegassun.com for live round-by-round coverage and scoring of the main card. Read below to get all of the results from the undercard.
A disfigured thumb suffered by Yancy Medeiros stopped a lightweight bout against Rustam Khabilov prematurely. Khabilov goes down as a TKO (injury) winner at 2:32 of the first round after Medeiros broke his thumb while getting slammed to the ground.
The ending of a light heavyweight bout between Ovince Saint Preux and Gian Villante was just as strange. After Villante got poked in the eye, the referee allowed him no time to recover and instead asked if he could see. When Villante replied he couldn't, the fight was called and sent to a technical decision 33 seconds into the third round. The judges had Ovince Saint Preux up, as he beat Gian Villante by technical majority decision (30-29, 30-28, 29-29).
In the third women's fight in UFC history, Sara McMann showed the wrestling skills that guided her to a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics. McMann took down Sheila Gaff twice to lead to an early finish. McMann transitioned into mount to score a first-round TKO victory at 4:06 over Gaff.
Bryan Caraway kept a close fight from going to the judges' scorecards in the final 20 seconds. Caraway submitted Johnny Bedford with a guillotine choke at 4:44 of the third round in their bantamweight bout.
Leonard Garcia accomplished something most fighters in the UFC never have a chance to, but it wasn't a positive. Garcia lost his fifth straight fight in the octagon. Cody McKenzie defeated Garcia by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) in a featherweight bout.
Steven Siler defeated Kurt Holobaugh by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in a featherweight bout to start the card. Holobaugh rallied back to make things interesting after Siler nearly finished the newcomer with a rear-naked choke in the first round.