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UFC 159 Picks: Jones vs. Sonnen

UFC 159 is on tomorrow night on pay-per-view with the main card getting underway at 10pm ET. The main event features a title fight between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, as Sonnen has moved up to fight him.

Alan Belcher will finally get a crack at Michael Bisping in the co-main event and Vinny Magalhaes will fight Phil Davis. With all of the trash talk that has been going on leading up to the fights I expect some great battles in the cage on Saturday night.

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UFC 159 Main Event Odds & Predictions

• Jon Jones (17-1) -925
• Chael Sonnen (27-12-1) +725

This is a huge mismatch regardless of what Sonnen seems to think. Noone in the UFC has been able to takedown Jones and it’s not like they haven’t tried. He has an excellent sprawling technique to keep fights standing up where he can dominate fighters.

Jones will have an 11’’ reach advantage in the cage and that plays a huge role in the stand-up. Jones will be able to get off strikes while keeping a distance from Sonnen and avoiding the famous double leg takedown that Sonnen tries on every opponent.

There is no value betting on Jones to win at -925 or even on him to win by stoppage at -475 odds. Your best bet in this fight is to bet on Jones to win by submission at +140 odds, as Jones has 6 submission wins and Sonnen has been tapped out 8 times.

UFC 159 Main Card Odds & Predictions

• Michael Bisping (23-5) -170
• Alan Belcher (18-7) +160

Belcher has been calling out Bisping for five years now and will finally get a crack at him. Both of these fighters will move up the contender ranks with a win tomorrow night. My money is on Bisping, as I feel he’s better at just about everything.

Bisping loves to stand-up and bang. He has excellent boxing and his kickboxing is always improving. Bisping seems to be taking this fight very personal and I expect him to win by decision. Both think they’ll win by stoppage, but I don’t see that happening.

• Roy Nelson (18-7) -235
• Cheick Kongo (18-7-2) +215

We have two knockout specialists fighting on the main card as well. Nelson knocked out Mitrione and Herman in his L2 fights in the cage while Kongo seems to be on a downward spiral. In his L3 fights he has two decision wins and was KO’ed by Mark Hunt.

I’ve seen Nelson take some extreme punishment in the cage and he has yet to be knocked out in the UFC. He has a steel jaw and based on how Kongo has been fighting lately he won’t be a KO threat. I’m betting on Nelson to win by TKO/KO at -110 odds.

• Phil Davis (10-1) -315
• Vinny Magalhaes (10-5) +285

Davis seems to be having a great camp and is extremely confident heading into this fight. Magalhaes had a chance to fight Davis earlier, but he wanted a full camp to train and that’s why these two are fighting at UFC 159. Even with a full camp I like Davis.

Magalhaes is a world class jiu-jitsu practitioner and he’s deadly on the ground. All of his 10 wins have come by stoppage with 8 of those wins being by submission. Davis had world class wrestling though and is very powerful, which why I bet on him to win.

• Jim Miller (22-4) -305
• Pat Healy (29-16) +275

To kick-off the main card Miller will fight Healy in a highly anticipated fight. Healy is a tough Strikeforce veteran that has won his L6 fights and he was going to get a shot at Melendez, but Melendez went down with an injury before the fight took place.

Miller is getting better every time he enters the cage. Both fighters love to work submissions and they average over 1.5 attempts each every 15 minutes in the cage. This will be a close fight and I’ve been back and forth on it, but I like the value on Healy.