UFC 159 Staff Predictions


Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen:

Mike Drahota: This has to be one of the more mundane predictions in recent memory, as Jon Jones simply has Chael Sonnen outclassed in every area of MMA except wrestling. I think Sonnen’s best and only chance to beat Jones is to obviously take him down and hold him there for five consecutive rounds. Otherwise, the ultra-dynamic Jones will pick him apart on the feet with his insane reach, softening him up for an eventual finish. Chael Sonnen’s submission defense is not exactly legendary, so I’ll go with Jon Jones via R3 submission.

Rory Kernaghan: Jones vs. Sonnen is the perfect example of a fight where everyone and their dog knows the outcome from the jump. Jones is going to manhandle Sonnen and knock his teeth in to next week, right? To quote Arnold Schwarzenegger, “WRONG!” I may be the only person on earth apart from Uncle Chael that thinks ‘The American Gangster’ actually has a shot at this. I know he basically talked his way in to the shot at Jones, but that doesn’t hold any bearing on Sonnen’s wrestling or athletic ability. The fact is I think Sonnen is going to take Bones down at will and keep him there, and unless Jones has got some top level Jiu-jitsu for Sonnen, it will be a long night for the champ. Chael Sonnen by Decision.

Bryan Fontez: I would love to sit here and tell you that Chael will land the biggest upset in combat sports history and win via UNanimous Decision… But I’m being paid to be honest with you. So with that said, Chael does have a chance, but it’s very slim. It’s more likely that Jones will finish this fight with relative ease via 2nd round submission. Whoopity-do.

Michael Bisping vs. Alan Belcher:

Mike Drahota: I really love the back-and-forth trash talk and insane side bets being made on this fight. It seems like these two combatants legitimately want to knock each others’ heads off, a lot more so than Jones-Sonnen. Both fighters are kind of at that sink or swim spot in the MW division with each coming off of a loss. They desperately need a win, and an impressive one at that, to stay relevant. While Alan Belcher’s striking is no joke, from watching his interviews, I’m thinking he might be discrediting Bisping’s kickboxing a bit too much. Belcher has great BJJ as well, but Bisping is one tough cookie to submit. It should be a battle, but I’m taking Bisping via UNanimous Decision.

Rory Kernaghan: Bisping vs. Belcher is going to be an all out war, both guys have their backs against the wall due to recent losses and I expect them to fight that way. The Brit Bisping has some seriously good technical boxing and I expect him to use his jab and footwork to keep Belcher at bay. Belcher is going to look for the finish in this one, in my opinion he won’t win a decision against ‘The Count’ unless he gets takedowns and controls him on the mat. The reality in this bout is that Bisping is the more conditioned athlete, and I think he will use speed and footwork to out pace Belcher throughout the match. Bisping by grind out Decision.

Bryan Fontez: This one’s a little tougher due to the fact that I’ve seen both fighters at their very best and worst. Belcher has some truly amazing potential and I always thought he could accomplish bigger things than he has been if he were just able to put it all together nicely and fight the best fight he can every time. On the other hand Bisping is consistently one of the best Middleweights who is always hovering around the title but never quite able to get a shot at it. Although I must say that he continues to improve after every fight win or lose. This fight could be really close and go either way, but I’m going to go with my instincts, I’d like to see Bisping get that KO he keeps talking about, but I think he’s just going to grind out another UNanimous Decision in this one.

  • Rory seriously? His wrestling will be enough to stop Jones? He couldn't hold down Silva the 2nd fight and Silva's wrestling is no where near the level of Jones. I see chael being the 1rst person to put Jones on his back and maybe keep him there for half a round or so, but he does almost no damage from the top and his sub defense is atrocious. IF he can hold Jones down he will be subbed again. He won't hold him down. Jones' length will hold chael at distance for most of the short fight like everyone else who thought they could get inside and take him down. I think Jones will win by TKO however 🙂 hope it's in devastating fashion like he said he would. chael talking his way into a title fight at the weight class ABOVE where he lost is pathetic and I hope he gets whats coming to him.

    • Hey man, I know it is a bit out there lol. I just have this gut feeling that chael is gonna shock the world. I know not many will agree with me but I'm going with my gut on this one

      • The Murph is with you. I have had this weird feeling that Chael takes a decision. No reasoning or justification. Just the gut.

      • @Rory…..i hope your right but i don't think Chael is going to submit jones, he is not going to outstrike jones on the feet….This fight is all jones i believe. it will be knees, spinning elbow or some crazy standing submission that wins it for bones. Bones has 5 rounds to slow chael down. The best i see Chael doing is what he has done in the past. Bones is a great wrestler, strong etc. I can't see him getting dominated.

      • @Rory, It's all opinion so I could never hate on how you feel or why you feel that way, I just can't see it myself, I feel like this is 1 of the most lopsided fights on paper for so many reasons. Wrestling and MMA Wrestling are totally different and I think Jones is the far superior MMA wrestler. I do think Chael will be the 1rst to put Jones on his back though. probably once or twice early in the 1rst round if he uses the Silva bully approach and just Bull rushes.

    • Rory might be the new Anton. Or maybe he's really Anton, just using an alias…

    • i agree with you in everything! but saying Chael couldnt hold down anderson on the 2nd round is wrong. On that round they didnt go to the ground at all… and that was because Anderson had a good TD defense and also because he grabbed Chaels pants and the cage.

      The fact is that when Chael took down AS he couldnt stand up on any round and got really dominated. AS got taken 6 times and he couldnt stand up once.

      Being that said you cant compare JJ takedown defense against AS. i think that chael is going to have big problems taking him down just as he had against Okami. But if he takes him down he is going to be able to control Jones for a while. No one has a better wrestling control on the ground than chael… even GSP IMO

      • other fact that no one is analysing is that Chael probably has improved his sub defense and submissions in his training with Vinny magalhaes. i think that the only way he wins this one is with a submission like arm triangle or simething like that.

        but my prediction is that jones is going to softly destroy him standing up. and chael is only going to be able to take down jones for 1 round… thats all

        • @Mauromina, I thought about that, but then I remembered that Chael has has the worst sub defense his whole career, I doubt if he magically has gotten good enough to stop someone who has subbed Machida, Bader, and Rampage. Who I don't think any has been subbed before (definitely could be wrong) Sonnen has been subbed repeatedly and almost always with the same move. Some people just don't pick think up like others, and Chaels aggressive (yet mostly ineffective) ground n pound style leaves him open often. Jones length will make those same subs chael is vulnerable to even easier.

    • imo i think jones@ back isnt going to touch the floor. i think he'll come out super confident throwing loads of kicks without respect for chaels style. then when chael rushes him i can see him using trips and sweeps to nullify chaels game.
      The belcher and bisping fight may be a lot closer than people think. belcher can win through ko or sub and bisping most likely through decision. If belcher has really worked takedown defence it could be a long night for bisping. (and im form the uk)

  • wow, all for bisping? im going with belcher!

    ps: rory's chael pick is a joke…

    • Hey man, like I said its a gut feeling. I don't always like to go with logic. cases in point: Sokodju vs nog, serra vs gsp, reem vs bigfoot the list goes on. But i know where you are coming from bro

      • yeah you're right. the underdog always hat a chance BUT in this case? common? look who jj fought… he destroyed every top-centender in his last fights… yeah, whatever. we will see on saturday 🙂

      • I know those gut calls sometimes work! but im sure that your list a gut calls that didnt work is 10 times bigger than the ones that did.

        remember the sonnen vs okami fight… i think that fight is the key for the prediction on this one! with the difference that sonnen isnt going to dominate standing up.

        but i really hope chael wins it! i cant stand jones

    • I don't see how the pick is a "joke" when they are two top professionals……@#$%#&!! who the hell am I kidding, the pick is a joke…..

  • While i respect your making the difficult pick Rory, your setting yourself up to be wrong.

    I think everyone agrees Jones is a much mores killed fighter than Sonnen and that's the difference here, most huge upsets come via a finish (like the 3 you listed – Sokodju vs Nog, Serra vs GSP, Reem vs Bigfoot)… Chael aint finishing Jones.

    You could believe a lot of big upsets are possible when the other guy is a finisher, even Mir had a chance against JDS since he had a chance of getting a sub.
    Chael is not a finisher and no way in hell does he finish Jones, so in that case if you pick Chael that means you pick him to out-skill Jon Jones 25 minutes and that I find hard to believe.

    • Difficult pick? I simply think it's hipster warning.

  • I want Jones to lose as well, as he has gotten quite high on himself, but chances of it happening are slimmer than being struck by lightning in the same day…twice. So, Jones by TKO, round ONE. Love ya' Chael, but it ain't happening.

    Same goes for Bisping….. I want him to get KTFO and STFU but I see him lulling us all to sleep with another one of his point sparring sessions, then telling everyone how he deserves the next shot, how great he is, blah, blah, blah……

    So.. *****-ping by utterly boring UD.

    Big Country shocks all by dropping Chuck Wagon and TKO'ing his French African whateverthehellheis A$$.

  • If rory gets his pick right…..I'm going on vacation until the dust settles.

    • Its possible.

      If Chael's strength rises with him (which is a possibility from good ole TRT), than he might have a better chance than most expect.

      Even if its not very likely.

      • Evan…..Any news on the increased TRT monitoring supposedly being delivered by dana white, or was that just a moment of hot air?

        • No clue. Nothing's really been reported outside of some tweets and some "reports" from fighters on the treatment.

          If I had to guess, its more of a show of action than actual action itself.

  • Oh Rory thank you, always nice to have a laugh.

    Personally I think this is the most one sided main event in UFC history, Jones is the far far superior wrestler, his striking is literally light years ahead of Sonnen and we all know Sonnen is about as good on the ground as a turtle on his back.

    I actually don't see Sonnen having a single weapon that is even a remote danger to Jones, Vitor at least had a punchers chance.