UFC 159 was an absolutely crazy night of fights, as the event was marred by technical decions, eye pokes, upset wins, and just plain, weird fights. Overall, eight betting favorites won, while three underdogs cashed.
In the main event of the evening, Jon Jones defeated Chael Sonnen via first-round TKO (strikes) to once again defend his UFC light heavyweight championship. It wasn’t much of a fight at all, as Jones took Sonnen down multiple times until he bashed him enough for the referee to step in and stop the fight. However, it must be noted that immediately after the fight it was revealed that Jones broke his foot and had the fight reached the end of the round Sonnen would have been declared the winner. Jones cashed as a -840 favorite (bet $840 to win $100), while Sonnen lost as a +660 underdog (bet $100 to win $660).
In the co-main event of the evening, Michael Bisping won a technical unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) over Alan Belcher. It was a very boring fight, but Bisping did enough on the feet to outpoint Belcher until an unfortunate eye poke in the third round that sent the fight to the scorecards for a technical decision. Bisping cashed at -175, while Belcher was +165.
In a light heavyweight bout, Phil Davis defeated Vinny Magalhaes via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) in one of the most boring fights on the card. Davis basically outstruck Magalhaes over the course of the three rounds and never entered into the BJJ black belt’s guard on the ground, and it wasn’t very entertaining. Regardless, Davis cashed a -280 favorite, while Magalhaes failed to come through as a +255 underdog.
In a lightweight contest, Rustam Khabilov defeated Yancy Medeiros via first-round TKO (injury) to continue his onslaught of the UFC lightweight division. Khabilov slammed Medeiros on his back at one point and it broke Medeiros’ thumb, and the fight was immediately called off by referee Dan Miragliotta. Khabilov closed at -187, while Medeiro was +172.
In a light heavyweight bout, Ovince St-Preux defeated Gian Villante via technical, majority decision (30-29, 30-28, 29-29) in a fight that was marred by awful refereeing after Kevin Mulhall called an end to the fight after an accidental eye poke to Villante. It was a terrible call by the ref, but thankfully it was deemed an accidental foul so it at least went to the scorecards and it wasn’t declared a TKO or DQ win. St-Preux closed at -145, while Villante closed at +135.
In a women’s bantamweight bout, Sara McMann defeated Sheila Gaff via first-round TKO (punches) to pick up a big win in her UFC debut. McMann’s dominant wrestling and size allowed her to control Gaff on the ground and she eventually got the crucifix position and finished her off with strikes. McMann closed at -570, while Gaff was +480.
In a “Fight of the Night” candidate that opened up UFC 159, featherweights Steven Siler and Kurt Holobaugh battled it out for three tough rounds but Siler was able to work his ground game with multiple back mounts on Holobaugh to earn the judges’ decision, with all three judges scoring it 29-28. It was an excellent fight, though, and look for Holobaugh to get another chance in the UFC. Siler closed at -115, while Holobaugh was +105.
UFC 159 BETTING UNDERDOGS THAT WON
In the opening fight of the PPV card, Pat Healy submitted Jim Miller in the third round in a huge upset win. It was a back-and-forth fight between the two lightweight warriors for two rounds but Healy’s size was just too much for Miller and he grinded him down enough to finally sneak in the submission and score the tapout victory. Healy cashed as a underdog, while Miller was a favorite.
In a bantamweight contest, Bryan Caraway submitted Johnny Bedford at 4:44 of round three to pick up a huge win in the UFC’s 135-pound division. Caraway was coming off a close, split-decision loss to Takeya Mizugaki at UFC on FUEL TV 8 and took this fight against Bedford on only six days’ notice. It didn’t matter, though, as his excellent grappling and submission skilled helped him cruise through three rounds until he got the submission late in the fight. Caraway closed at +100, while Bedford closed at -110.
In a featherweight contest, Cody McKenzie used his ground game to dominate Leonard Garcia and pick up a unanimous decision win, the judges scoring it 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 in favor of McKenzie, who had back mount on Garcia in round one and round two. McKenzie closed at +188, while Garcia was -205.