Following every UFC and Invicta FC event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen, which took place on April 27 from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida

Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones defended his title for the fifth time on Saturday, defeating Chael Sonnen by first-round TKO in the main event of UFC 159. Jones continued to impress with his overall skill set and displayed even more improved techniques.

The question now becomes, who is next for the champion?

In terms of the rankings, Lyoto Machida should hold that distinction. Even though Machida has already fought Jones for the belt, “The Dragon” had been promised title shots after each of his last two fights. Machida knocked out Ryan Bader last year, then edged out Dan Henderson in a fight to determine a No. 1 contender.

Despite those details, the talk of who is next in line really appears to focus on Alexander Gustafsson. In the post-fight press conference, Jones stated that he would like to give Gustafsson a title shot next, rather than Machida.

The positive with choosing Gustafsson over Machida is that it gives Jones a new challenge. But if you look at the rankings—not only on The MMA Corner’s rankings, but also the UFC’s—Machida is ahead of the Swede.

Gustafsson will eventually get his opportunity to fight for the belt, but Machida deserves some recognition for winning two key fights after losing to the champion the first time around.

Michael Bisping vs. Yushin Okami

In the co-main event of the evening, Michael Bisping defeated Alan Belcher by technical decision after Belcher was accidentally poked in the eye by Bisping and was unable to continue.

It was a must-win situation for Bisping to stay in the title picture, and he will now get an opportunity to fight another top-10 middleweight in his next bout.

In terms of the outlook of the division, Bisping’s next opponent should be Yushin Okami. Okami has won three fights in a row, with his last coming against Hector Lombard at UFC on Fuel TV 8 in March. His win prior to that was over Belcher, whom he defeated by unanimous decision.

Surprisingly, the paths of Bisping and Okami haven’t crossed since their careers began in 2006, so there’s no better time for that to happen than now. Once again, it will be a must-win if either fighter wants to have a chance to earn a title shot in the future.

Roy Nelson vs. Daniel Cormier

Heavyweights were on full display at UFC 159, with Roy Nelson adding to his knockout total through a first-round stoppage of Cheick Kongo.

“Big Country” has now won three straight fights and has established himself as a contender, rather than just a gatekeeper.

The talk surrounding Nelson is that he will fight either Mark Hunt (if Hunt wins at UFC 160 against Junior dos Santos) or Daniel Cormier.

Since the outcome of Hunt’s bout with dos Santos is uncertain, Cormier will be up next for Nelson.

This comes as a bit of surprise, actually. It appeared as if Cormier was destined for a move down to 205 pounds, but with the suggestion that he could fight Nelson next, it doesn’t appear as if a move to light heavyweight is on the horizon.

Cormier says he is up for a clash with Nelson, so this match-up appears evident. This is a tough fight for Nelson, considering that Cormier is one of the top heavyweights in the world and is an excellent wrestler. However, if anyone can handle it, Nelson is the guy.

Phil Davis vs. Glover Teixeira-James Te Huna winner

After being called out by Vinny Magalhaes, Phil Davis made sure the Brazilian would pay for it by defeating his opponent via unanimous decision. The win may not propel Davis up the rankings in the 205-pound division, but he still remains in the top 10.

Davis had the best performance of his career, especially with his crisp and accurate striking. If “Mr. Wonderful” continues this, he could become a threat to anyone in the division.

Up next, Davis should take on the winner of a UFC 160 bout between Glover Teixeira and James Te Huna.

Both have become rising stars as of late and have impressed with exciting fights, and either fighter would be a challenge to Davis.

Pat Healy vs. Josh Thomson

The biggest winner of the night was Pat Healy, who not only defeated a very tough Jim Miller, but also took home both “Fight of the Night” and “Submission of the Night” bonuses.

Healy improves his winning streak to seven and is right on the verge of a title shot. Remember, “Bam Bam” was the final No. 1 contender in Strikeforce, but he never got a chance to fight for the belt due to injuries that plagued champion Gilbert Melendez.

Before Healy is put into title contention in the UFC, he should first fight Josh Thomson. Yes, the two have met before in 2010, but both, especially Healy, have improved since then. Thomson also had a great performance in his last fight, where he won by TKO against Nate Diaz.

Healy vs. Thomson 2 would be another exciting fight between the pair and makes perfect sense for the division. There’s no reason not to make this fight, even though it will be a rematch.

After Gray Maynard or T.J. Grant gets their shot at champion Benson Henderson next, you will hear Healy or Thomson’s name in the title discussion before year’s end.

Photo: Pat Healy (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

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.