UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen - Final pre-show thoughts

Photo: Esther Lin / MMAFighting.com

A quick run though some final thoughts mere hours ahead of the start of UFC 159 and the night's headlining bout of Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen.

I've certainly written a lot already about tonight's UFC 159 main event between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen. As someone who loves to find ways that the underdog could come through and pick up the win, I can not look at this fight and see any way for Sonnen to win. That happens sometimes in sports, but in the UFC it's rare that that happens and happens with an undeserving challenger in anything other than when necessitated via a last minute replacement.

The fight is a sham, it's uninteresting, it shouldn't be happening and it certainly shouldn't cost fans $50-60 to watch.

But it is happening and it costs what it costs so at this point there isn't much to do but wait for it to come and go and hope the fireworks are at least entertaining and the undercard provides a little bit of excitement for your dime.

  • For those of you who feel like reading pieces on different aspects of why the Jones vs. Sonnen fight is a bit on the "undesirable side" I would recommend a trifecta of articles: Chael Sonnen, The UFC's Skip Bayless, Race-Baits His Way To The Top by Tim Marchman at Deadspin, The Great White Hoax by Tomas Rios at Pacific Standard and UFC 159: Jones vs Sonnen and wasted time sold as entertainment by me here at Bloody Elbow.
  • I will say that I find it incredibly entertaining how the best parts of the promotion for the fight were Jon Jones' statements and not Sonnen's. I'd be lying if I said I didn't also get a kick out of Sonnen, previously caught failing a drug test after fighting Anderson Silva, saying that he was ready to sue Jones for calling him a steroid abuser. Sonnen, whose entire value is as a guy who says vile things to promote a fight, getting all weepy over being called out on his past -- sure, not a failure for "steroids" but for elevated testosterone...the base of steroids -- was quite the moment.
  • Michael Bisping's bout with Alan Belcher is interesting on paper, though Bisping's loss to Belfort in his last outing takes away a good amount of importance. Bisping is back fighting at the level where he appears to peak, the top end of the "B-tier" of middleweights.
  • Speaking of top end of the "B-tier" Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo are fighting tonight. There's not a lot of interesting stuff about the fight for me, it's a perfectly good fight, well matched and not a foregone conclusion. But it did freak me out when I looked at Kongo's record and realized that the thrilling KO of Pat Barry was almost two years ago.
  • Phil Davis is a pretty heavy favorite over Vinny Magalahes tonight but it will be interesting to see if the news of the ugly custody hearing that came out yesterday will have any sort of impact on him mentally. It was a distraction if nothing else.
  • If you're not already aware, Sara McMann is a fighter to keep an eye on. Her skillset makes her the one woman who many feel is the one to knock off Ronda Rousey. We're probably a few fights away from seeing that, but this is step one for McMann in the UFC.
  • Leonard Garcia has not won a fight since November 5, 2008. That's...not technically true as he has picked up three wins, but those wins -- split decisions over Jameel Massouh, Chan Sung Jung and Nam Phan as well as a draw against George Roop -- all seemed like pretty clear losses. So, his four fight losing streak probably should be an eleven fight losing streak. If he can't beat Cody McKenzie I'm not sure there's any reason at all that he should be kept in the UFC.
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