The Punk: UFC 159: Bones vs. Sonnen Review
by, 04-28-2013 at 07:52 AM (3612 Views)
After beating Jon Jones soundly with his better picks, tactics and overall coaching ability on TUF, "The American Gangster" Chael Sonnen hopes to take the one thing that truly matters; Jones' UFC Light Heavyweight title. It won't be easy though as in just two years "Bones" has decimated the 205 pound division, leading many to believe the young champion should consider a move up to Heavyweight. With a win over his adversary tonight, Jones will equal Tito Ortiz's record of 5 title defences. Could a record tying win here force the champion to relinquish his title and pursue new opponents, and if so, could this be the last time we see the ageing Sonnen in an Octagon title scrap? Lets fight!
Bout One - Lightweight
Pat Healy vs. Jim Miller
Very few fighters can scrap as well as Jim Miller. Following his Fight of the Year bout with Joe Lauzon in December, the New Jersey native welcomed former Strikeforce mainstay Pat Healy back to the Octagon for the first time in seven years...and fans weren't left disappointed. Showing great striking and grappling Miller took the first round but Healy soon found his stride and began to dominate with some nice and potentially match ending submission attempts. A testament to the heart of both fighters, the bout entered the final round where Healy began to pick Miller apart with ground strikes before choking him out with a rear naked choke. Great performances from both who got this card off to a very strong start. Healy has made a serious statement to the rest of the division with this victory. Great to have him back in the UFC.
Winner: Pat Healy via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in Round 3
Fight Rating: ****/5
Bout Two - Light Heavyweight
Vinny Magalhães vs. Phil Davis
For newcomers to the sport, the sound of a Wrestler vs. Jiu-Jitsu fight may sound appealing but to the more knowledgeable fight fan, they rarely make for entertaining bouts. Luckily for us, Phil Davis wasn't about to play the ground game as he fought the fight he wanted to and kept the action on the feet. Magalhães had plenty of opportunities to tie his opponent up and pull guard but for reasons unknown, failed to do so. With the ground game nullified, Davis showcased good, but not great striking skills and picked his Brazilian adversary apart with quick jabs. Magalhães had no answer, couldn't find his way into the fight, couldn't utilise his considerable skills and, unsurprisingly, lost via unanimous decision. Davis is continuing to improve after his first career defeat to Rashad Evans last year and could very well be on the cusp of another top 10 opponent. Much more entertaining than a typical fight of this kind but the one-sidedness of the bout took away some of the enjoyment.
Winner: Phil Davis via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Fight Rating: ***/5
Bout Three - Heavyweight
Cheick Kongo vs. Roy Nelson
Put two guys possessing devastating knockout power together in a fight and it will rarely go the distance. Roy Nelson once again proved this by dropping the Frenchman with haymakers just two minutes into the fight and continuing his impressive run of form. Kongo never got going as he was pressed against the cage by his grappling expert opponent. The win could put Nelson into genuine title contention, and he knows it. A fight like this isn't usually graded for entertainment value, but for the quality of the finish...and what a finish it was!
Winner: Roy Nelson via KO (Punches) in Round 1
Fight Rating: ***.5/5
Bout Four - Middleweight
Alan Belcher vs. Michael Bisping
With all the pre-fight trash talk and a fiery weigh-in confrontation, many had this co-main event picked as the show stealing fight of the night. Unfortunately this fight will be remembered for all the wrong reasons as Britain's Michael Bisping picked up the decision victory after accidentally poking Belcher in the eye, forcing the American to withdraw. It was going to be Bisping's night regardless though; he dominated his opponent throughout with better boxing and cardio. "The Count" is not known for knockout ability so one here was a pretty tall order. Instead we got an eye poke, a poke which looks to have seriously injured Belcher, who needed retina surgery in 2010. Hopefully he will be okay and uses the time off to re-think his fight approach. He was outmatched here and made to look pretty average against a man who has been a longtime underachiever himself in the organisation.
Winner: Michael Bisping via Technical Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) in Round 3
Fight Rating: ***/5
Bout Five - Light Heavyweight Championship
Jon Jones (c) vs. Chael Sonnen
Let's set the record straight: Chael Sonnen wasn't handed this fight for no reason. When Dan Henderson suffered an injury just before the ill-fated UFC 151, Sonnen did what no other Light Heavyweight would do and offered to fight the champion on 8 days notice. The champion, for reasons still fully known, declined at the time, setting the stage for this main event title match. Basically Sonnen tried to save the cancelled card and thus rightfully deserved his crack at the 205 pound king. Unfortunately for him though Jones wasn't to be denied his record tying 5th title defence as he showcased his powerful wrestling, punishing elbows, brutal ground and pound attack and heavy knees which all resulted in a quick stoppage victory for the champion. Sonnen looked game early on a threw some good knees but those questioning Jones' wrestling skills were soon silenced as "Bones" took his Geco Roman specialist opponent down with relative ease. It was a result we all really knew was inevitable but Sonnen gave it his best shot and deserves credit for the attempt. Where the two go after this is still up in the air but one thing is for certain: Jones can rule this division for the rest of his career if he wants to.
Winner and STILL champion: Jon Jones via TKO (Punches) in Round 1
Fight Rating: ***.5/5
Post-fight interview with the champion shows that he sustained a horrific injury to his big toe during the bout. Click here to see the image. Ouch!
Overview: UFC 159 had the unfortunate task of following UFC on Fox 7 and ultimately failed to match the quality of last week's card. That's not to say it wasn't all bad though as a number of the bouts presented were pretty decent and largely lived up to expectations. 159 will probably be better known for the large number of gruesome injuries suffered over the course of the evening; including the prelims, we saw four separate injuries with three of those ending their respective fights. Referee blunders didn't help either!
KO of the Night: Roy Nelson
Submission of the Night: Pat Healy
Fight of the Night: Healy/Miller
Thanks for reading. What did you think of UFC 159? Comments below!
For more WWE and UFC reviews and live coverage of each event, check out The Punk by going to www.thepunk.org. You can also follow me on Twitter @ThePunk2012. Cheers!