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UFC 159: Jon Jones beats Chael Sonnen by TKO in first round

April 27, 2013|By Todd Martin
  • Jon Jones, the reigning light-heavyweight champion, tries to finish off challenger Chael Sonnen during their title fight on Saturday night at UFC 159 in Newark, N.J.
Jon Jones, the reigning light-heavyweight champion, tries to finish off… (Gregory Payan / Associated…)

UFC 159 takes place Saturday night from Newark, New Jersey. The event is headlined by a UFC light heavyweight title bout between champion Jon Jones and challenger Chael Sonnen.

UFC light heavyweight title: Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen

Jones is one of the most skilled and dominant fighters in the history of the sport, even at an early age. He seemingly has no weaknesses, mixing great wrestling with dangerous striking and a winner’s mentality. However, he hasn’t connected with fans in the way that UFC would have hoped for such a successful champion. Sonnen is one of the sport’s most colorful characters and best trash talkers. A very good wrestler, he gave Anderson Silva great difficulty in the middleweight division. However, few believe he has any chance against Jones. He has no UFC wins at light heavyweight and his strengths are likely to be negated by Jones’. The fight was made so that Jones and Sonnen could coach opposite one another on the Ultimate Fighter television series.

Round 1. Sonnen presses forward. Jones changes levels and takes Sonnen down. Sonnen stands up and they exchange punches from inside the clinch before separating. They clinch again and Jones takes Sonnen down. Sonnen has a butterfly guard near the cage. Sonnen works his way back up and they clinch next to the cage. Jones looks for a lift but Sonnen blocks it. Jones goes for a spinning back elbow but it misses. Jones then moves in and grabs a deep double leg that he uses to slam Sonnen back down. Jones begins throwing punches and elbows from inside Sonnen's guard. Jones drops down elbos and pins Sonnen's arm. Sonnen covers up and Jones begins dropping down heavier elbows. Sonnen is bleeding. The fight is stopped.

Winner: Jon Jones, TKO, round 1.

Jones has a broken foot and only realized it at the beginning of his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. Sonnen says he agreed with the decision to stop the fight and that Jones was the better fighter.

Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher

This is a crucial fight for each man. Bisping has long sought a middleweight title shot but following a loss to Vitor Belfort, it looks like he may never receive it. He desperately needs a win here to stay in the title picture. Belcher is in a similar boat. He won a series of fights that got him mentioned as a potential contender but looked unimpressive in losing to Yushin Okami in his last fight. He needs a win to make fans forget about that.

Round 1. They feel each other out early, with Belcher establishing range via kicks. From close range, each man lands a shot. Belcher has thrown a number of hard head kicks but thus far Bisping has been able to block all of them. Bisping connects with a right hand up the middle that is his best shot of the fight. A little bit later Belcher lands a nice that connects very well to the chin of Bisping. Bisping blocks a takedown at the end and lands a couple punches. Very close round. 10-9 Bisping.

Round 2. Bisping starts off the round well. He lands a low kick and a jab and then hits Belcher with a hard straight punch. Bisping is over time throwing more than Belcher, which is changing the tempo of the fight. Bisping lands a nice hook. Bisping loads up a straight right up the middle that lands well. Halfway through the round, Bisping is now firmly in control. Bisping lands an overhand right and then counters nicely when Belcher looks for a shot of his own. Bisping lands another right to the jaw moments later. Belcher goes for a takedown and Bisping stuffs it. Belcher connects with a hard punch shortly thereafter and another after that. Bisping does answer with a good combination to close the round. 10-9 Bisping.

Round 3. Belcher moves in aggressively and immediately gets countered by Bisping with a punch. Belcher is smiling at Bisping and Bisping responds with a hard punch in response. Bisping is pressing the action and throwing frequent shots, but not landing with much power. He's very effective at making Belcher pay when Belcher moves in looking to change the tone of the fight. Bisping lands a nice hard overhand right and then goes to the body with a few additional shots. Belcher goes for a takedown and is blocked with ease. Bisping catches Belcher with a bad accidental eye poke that goes deep into the eye. Belcher is bleeding badly from the eye and the fight is stopped.

Winner: Michael Bisping, unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).

Roy Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo

The charismatic and popular Nelson has built a fan following with exciting fights and by playing up his rotund physique. Kongo is one of the sport’s biggest anomalies. He has arguably the most impressive physique in the sport and an excellent skill set but throughout his career he has always found ways to lose fights.

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