Welcome to the latest edition of ‘The Morning After…’ where we review UFC 159.
This card will forever be known as ‘the curse’ as we witnessed some sickening broken toes and thumbs as well as numerous eye pokes that prematurely ended fights. So lets have a look at the main card…
Pat Healey v Jim Miller
Healey defeated Miller by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in Round 3.
This was an action packed scrap and a perfect way to start the PPV card. Miller is as tough as they come at 155 but he met his match today, as Healy was able to out strike him and break him down over 3 gruelling rounds. Miller had the better of the first round and landed some telling blows but Healy seemed to walk through them and in the second round he took control with takedowns and brutal ground and pound. The third saw more of the same with Healy beating Miller up on the ground until he was able to secure a rear naked choke and put Miller to sleep.
There is a raft of options open to Healy depending on how quickly the UFC want to push him; names like Ross Pearson and Nate Diaz spring to mind as good testing material. Miller will no doubt bounce back; he’s too technical and tough not too! I’m thinking Ryan Couture vs. Jim Miller to give both a chance to bounce back.
Phil Davis v Vinny Magalhaes
Davis defeated Magalhaes via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Definitely a disappointing fight in my opinion! Davis did exactly what everyone knew he would do; he kept the fight standing and picked Vinny apart with effective striking. For a short period in the 1st round it looked like Davis would finish Magalhaes but to his credit he toughed it out. I’m really confused about Vinny’s tactics in this one; his only real chance was to submit Davis but he never initiated a clinch, never tried to pull guard and attempted very few takedowns. When he did finally get the fight to the ground a very basic mistake meant Davis was able to get up immediately hand out more punishment.
Davis is ready for another big test, possibly Henderson after he gets through Evans or even Gustafsson as he comes back from injury (that is if he doesn’t get the next shot at Jones). As for Magalhaes I’m not sure if he can hang with the big guns at 205! Maybe Fabio Maldonado in a BJJ battle.
Roy Nelson v Cheick Congo
Nelson defeated Congo via KO (punch) in Round 1
The MMA world asked, and Nelson delivered! Another devastating KO by Big Country. We all new what Nelson’s game plan was (including Kongo) but he was unable to stop it. After a couple minutes of feeling out Nelson landed a powerful right hand that dropped Kongo, a follow up punch put the icing on the cake and that was that.
Nelson called out the winner of Valasquez v Silva and personally I’d really like to see him fight either for the UFC Heavyweight title. If not, the winner of JDS for Hunt makes sense and I’m sure we are all praying it’s hunt as that would be an absolute brawl. Kongo’s days are probably numbered in the UFC and I see no logical opponents, it will be interesting what Dana White decides to do with the Frenchman.
Michael Bisping v Alan Belcher
Bisping defeated Belcher by Technical Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Really unfortunate way for this one to end! An unintentional eye poke from Bisping seemed to cut Belcher’s eyeball and the ref immediately called the fight off. My thoughts are definitely with Belcher and I wish him a speedy recovery, however he did nothing to impress me in this fight. Bisping played his natural card; tight versatile stand-up that lacked power. He picked Belcher apart and to his credit clearly won a Decision. Belchers tactics were difficult to understand; he hardly attacked and when he did it looked like he was only throwing at 50%, his hands were down for a majority of the fight and to be honest he didn’t look like he wanted to be there. There was some controversy when Belcher was entering the ring as the referee’s decided to remove his ankle wraps, maybe this got to his head.
Bisping’s next step will no doubt try to put him back in title contention; I’d like to see him fight the winner of Belfort v Rockhold as there is some unfinished business with Belfort and a Rockhold fight would probably determine the #1 contender. As for Belcher, I’d like to see him fight Hector Lombard (if he stays at Middleweight) as both have the potential; something just seems to be holding them back.
Jon Jones v Chael Sonnen
Jones defeated Sonnen by TKO in Round 1
All the build-up, all the hype and in a little over 4 minutes it was all over. To put it as the great man Jon Jones put it “I Chael Sonnened Chael Sonnen”! Bones beat Sonnen at his own game; he took him down, maintained ground control and handed out some brutal ground and pound until the referee rightfully pulled him off Chael’s semi-limp body. Chael never got a chance to display any offence and took probably the worst beating of his career. The only downside for Jon Jones? A sickening broken toe that will no doubt require surgery (pictures on Twitter @thefightershub).
So where to from here? Well the inside word suggests Jones wants to fight Gustafsson however a super fight with Anderson Silva still isn’t out of the question. As for the American Gangsta – well there is a huge line of Brazilians lining up to give him a beating but I’m not convinced we will see him again; if we don’t I say thankyou Chael, thanks for the memories.
Steven Siler defeated Kurt Holobaugh by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Cody McKenzie defeated Leonard Garcia by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Bryan Caraway defeated Johnny Bedford by Submission (Guillotine Choke) in Round 3
Sara McMann defeated Sheila Gaff by TKO (punches) in Round 1
Ovince St. Preux defeated Gian Villante by Majority Technical Decision (30-28, 30-29, 29-29)
Rustam Khabilov defeated Yancy Mederios by TKO (injury – broken thumb)