UFC 159 kicks of live tonight at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The event is headlined by the king of self-promotion, Chael Sonnen and the man highley regarded as the king of the Pound-for-Pound Champs, Jon Jones.
The main event is obviously the biggest draw, but the rest of the card is oozing with intriguing matchups. Blake and I love this card so much, we are going to pick the entire main card and a few of the undercards fights.
Lets get started!
Leonard Garcia -190 vs. Cody McKenzie +175
This is an easy fight in my eyes. McKenzie really has one technique. The guilitine. He gets guys down and chokes them out. 11 of his 13 wins have come via the guilitine. Pretty impressive on the local shows, but Garcia is a different opponent. Garcia just likes to bang. He has lost his last 4 fights because the throws caution into the wind and just bangs. I do not think McKenzie will be able to step up to the challenge. Garcia via 2nd roud KO.
Bryan Caraway +110 vs. Johnny Bedford -120
Do not try and make a pick by just looking up their Sherdog records. That would lead you to believe that Caraway is going to get an easy submission vistory. He may get the submission, but it will not be easy. These two were castmates on TUF. Caraway has the bigger name before the show, (Mainily cause he is dating Mesiha Tate) but Bedford is an up and commer. He was brutal in his past two wins and I think he is going to pressure Caraway with punches and ground and pound. Bedford via Decision.
Jim Miller -290 vs. Pat Healy +260
A six fight winning streak finally has Healy back in the UFC after an 0-1 stint in 2004. Healy has been around MMA for a long time and he has won a good bit and lost a good bit. Miller has been in the contention list for quite some time and has foght some really good opponents in his last 6 fights. i honestly think this is a step down for him and I think he will give Healy a pretty solid beating on the feet and will eventually take him to the ground and finish him. Disgruntled employee style. Miller via 2nd rd submission
Phil Davis -290 vs. Vinny Magalhaes +260
Here is a fight Blake and I can not seem to agree on. Personally, I am taking Vinny for the upset. Vinny was a decent fighter when on TUF, but he is even better now. His stiking has come a long way. Things were not going his way vs Mikhail Zayats until he landed a headkick to end the fight. His BJJ is some of the most impressive in the UFC. I think he will evewn have the edge in the standup game. Phil Davis will look for the takedown and I think if Vinny doesnt get a submission, he will get points for constantly attacking. Maybe Vinny wins by a decision that will leave Davis fans complaining that he should have won since he was on top. This will be fun to see. Blakes point of view is that he can’t see Phil making such a big error. He can control where this fight goes. His very hard to hit and becoming a pretty decent striker. Long as he avoids the head kick , Davis takes a decision. SPLIT
Roy Nelson -235 vs. Cheick Kongo +215
Kongo is a striker. He stands and he bangs. He is geting older though, and his fights are getting less and less entertaining. He seems content to take a fighter into the clitch and hold them there while throwing a few striker here and there. I don’t think this is going to work vs Roy Nelson. Nelson is a crafty vet who at one time was a really dangerous submission fighter, he has now evolved into a knockout artist. He still has skills on the ground though. I think he uses his tough chin to bang with Kongo and he will either land his overhand right, or take him down and sub him. I think he gets the knockout. Nelson by KO/TKO rnd 2.
Michael Bisping -168 vs. Alan Belcher +158
Here is another fight Blake and I were not in complete agreement on. Blake feels that this is Belchers fight to lose as long as he doesnt just keep pulling guard. I think this is Bispings fight to lose. Bisping has, what I belive, is the better striking game. Belcher likes to take guys down and submit them or pound them out, but Bisping has really good hips and is very tough to keep down. I think Bisping leads the striking to a decision win. Bisping by Decison.
Jon Jones -925 vs. Chael Sonnen +725
“The only one waiting for this fight is Chael Sonnen’s doctor.” Great quote that I saw today. It’s very true. I have heard many friends, including TUF 17 vet, and Team Jones member, Gilbert Jamal Smith, claim that they think Sonnen is going to win. I can not imaigne how it would go down. Jones is a lot faster and has a lot more firepower. i do not think Sonnen will be able to get him down. I think this one ends relativly fast, in favor of Jones. Jones via 1st round tko.