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UFC 159 Staff Predictions
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.
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.