On Saturday, April 27, the UFC held UFC 159 from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

In the night’s main event UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones defended his 205-pound belt against former middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen. The pair coached against one another on the most recent installment of The Ultimate Fighter. Jones returned to the building in which he first captured the title against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128.

Also on the main card middleweights Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher looked to get back in the win column, heavyweight sluggers Cheick Kongo and Roy Nelson squared off, decorated grapplers Phil Davis and Vinny Magalhaes clashed at light heavyweight, and former Strikeforce lightweight No. 1 contender Pat Healy returned to the UFC to face off with New Jersey’s own Jim Miller.

The 11-fight event kicked off Saturday, April 27, at 7 p.m. ET with two bouts streaming on the promotion’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Four additional bouts followed on FX at 8 p.m. ET, with the pay-per-view main card starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Jones stops Sonnen to retain light heavyweight title

The light heavyweight crown was on the line in the main event, with champion Jon Jones taking on Chael Sonnen.

Jones took Sonnen down 15 seconds into the fight, but the challenger was able to return to his feet and land a couple punches in the clinch. The champion worked on Sonnen against the cage, then took him down with a double-leg takedown. Jones landed elbows on top, switching up his strikes, then after a barrage of shots, forced the referee to jump in and stop the fight.

The finish came at 4:33 of the first round as Jones defended his title for the fifth time.

However, in the post-fight interview, Jones discovered that he suffered a gruesome injury to his left toe, marring his victory.

Bisping earns technical decision over Belcher

The co-main event of the evening featured a grudge match years in the making between Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher.

The two middleweights mixed it up to begin the fight, with both throwing an array of strikes. Neither fighter could take control of the momentum, and was evenly contested on the feet the entire first round. Bisping landed a solid right hand to conclude the opening round.

Bisping began to gain an upperhand as round two progressed, landing more strikes than in the first. Belcher didn’t attack much like he did earlier in the fight, but Bisping, on the other hand, came forward looking to engage. With Belcher’s hands down, Bisping was able to win the striking exchanges for the most part, until Belcher got in a few solid shots to end the second frame.

In round three, Bisping continued to ride the momentum by relying on his quick hands to score points. “The Count” flourished as the fight went into deep waters, with his combinations still fluid. In an exchange, Bisping landed an accidental eye poke that forced the referee to call an end to the fight.

Bisping a technical decision on the scorecards, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.

Nelson knocks out Kongo

In a battle of veteran heavyweights, Ultimate Fighter winner Roy Nelson looked to shed the gatekeeper designation with a vicious first-round knockout over Frenchman Cheick Kongo.

Kongo’s massive reach advantage was quickly nullified as the fight began. Nelson closed the distance and pinned Kongo against the cage. The two jostled for position before the referee separated them. That distance was just want Nelson needed, delivering a massive overhand right that dropped the Frenchman. A follow-up uppercut put Kongo out for good, handing Nelson yet another knockout win.

Davis cruises past Magalhaes

Vinny Magalhaes called out Phil Davis, but turned out to be a bad decision as Davis earned a clear-cut decision win.

Both men came out striking to begin round one, with Davis getting the upperhand with head kicks and straight punches. Magalhaes recovered and worked for a takedown, then submission attempt, but Davis escaped trouble. The rounded ended with a striking exchange, won by Davis who beat Magalhaes to the punch.

In round two, Davis worked for a takedown, but bailed on it to settle for striking with Magalhaes. Davis stayed busy the entire duration with punches in bunches, while Magalhaes didn’t show much offense on the feet.

Up two rounds, all Davis needed to do was survive the third round. Magalhaes continued to not come forward aggressively, which allowed Davis to keep the pressure on with his hands. The Brazilian’s desperation was not enough, as Davis claimed the fight on the scorecards.

Healy submits Miller

Lightweights stepped into the cage first on the main card, as Jersey native Jim Miller squared off with fellow 155-pound contender Pat Healy.

Miller began the fight by opening up with his punches, then landed a trip takedown to put Healy on his back. From there he worked for a submission, targeting the arm of his opponent, but Healy was able to escape. Healy landed a takedown of his own and worked while on the back of Miller. However, Miller spun out to get on top, and landed punches to the swollen eye of Healy as the round concluded.

In round two, Healy was able to take control of Miller on the ground once again. Healy worked to apply his arm under the chin of Miller for a choke, but Miller escaped and worked for a choke of his own against the cage.

After two close rounds, the third would decide the victor. Both men came out looking to score points with strikes, but eventually went to the ground as Healy worked his way on top. Healy smothered his opponent, landing shots to Miller in the process. Healy got both hooks in, locked up a rear-naked choke, and forced Miller to go out.

Preliminary Card Summary

Rustam Khabilov and Yancy Medeiros closed out the FX portion of the card, but unfortunately, not on a high note. Medeiros suffered a dislocated thumb, and after being checked out by doctors, was forced to call the fight. Khabilov won by TKO due to injury in round one.

Two former Strikeforce light heavyweight made the transition over to the UFC, as Ovince St. Preux took on Gian Villante. After Villante was poked in the eye, the referee called an end to the bout after Villante said he couldn’t see. “OSP” would win the fight by majority technical decision.

The ladies took the stage next on FX, as Sara McMann and Sheila Gaff made their debuts inside the Octagon. Gaff came forward from the start, but was immediately taken down. Later in the first round, McMann used a mounted crucifix to land punches, forcing the referee to stop the fight.

Bryan Caraway stepped in on less than a week notice for Erik Perez to take on Johnny Bedford. Caraway was able to handle himself on the feet, while also controlling his opponent on the ground, which led to a guillotine choke applied to force Bedford to tap with seconds remaining in the fight.

Leonard Garcia and Cody McKenzie squared off next in a must-win fight for both men. McKenzie controlled all three rounds, both standing and on the mat, and got his hand raised by unanimous decision.

In the opening fight of the evening, featherweights Steven Siler and UFC newcomer Kurt Holobaugh faced off. In a back-an- forth battle, Siler would earn the nod by unanimous decision.

FULL RESULTS
Jon Jones def. Chael Sonnen by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 4:33 – for light heavyweight title
Michael Bisping def. Alan Belcher by technical decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Roy Nelson def. Cheick Kongo by knockout (punches). Round 1, 2:03
Phil Davis def. Vinny Magalhaes by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Pat Healy def. Jim Miller by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 3, 4:02
Rustam Khabilov def. Yancy Medeiros by TKO (thumb injury). Round 1, 2:32
Ovince St. Preux def. Gian Villante by majority technical decision (30-28, 30-29, 29-29)
Sara McMann def. Sheila Gaff by TKO (punches). Round 1, 4:06
Bryan Caraway def. Johnny Bedford by submission (guillotine choke). Round 3, 4:44
Cody McKenzie def. Leonard Garcia by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Steven Siler def. Kurt Holobaugh by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Photo: Jon Jones (James Law/Heavy MMA)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.