UFC 159 Opening Odds Breakdown: Light Heavyweight Title Jon Jones (-975) vs. Chael Sonnen (+675)

Jon JonesUFC 159: April 27, 2013 UFC Light Heavyweight Title UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones (-975) Profile: One of the top pound-for-pound MMA fighters on the planet, Jon “Bones” Jones (17-1) has dominated the light heavyweight scene, becoming the youngest UFC title holder ever early in 2011 at the age of 23, and he will likely continue to own the division for as long as he chooses to stay there. With an insane reach advantage, awkward and unorthodox striking style, a solid wrestling base and submissions from anywhere in the cage, “Bones” is a horrifying matchup for any light heavyweight to face. The lone blemish on his record came from a DQ loss to Matt Hamill for 12-6 elbows even though he was clearly in line for another lopsided victory. After being blamed for the cancellation fiasco of UFC 151, Jones bounced back from an early armbar submission attempt to submit Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 and is now preparing to serve as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 17 against his nemesis Chael Sonnen before finally meeting him inside the Octagon on April 27, 2013. UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Chael Sonnen (+675) Profile: The self-proclaimed “American Gangster” out of West Linn, Oregon, Chael Sonnen (27-12-1) has wrestled the UFC middleweight division to the ground, outside of a pair of triangle submission losses to Demian Maia and UFC champion Anderson Silva and a TKO defeat in the rematch with Silva at UFC 148. In between the two losses to Silva, the 35-year-old trash talker has served a suspension for elevated testosterone levels, earned his first-ever submission victory in the UFC via an arm-triangle choke against Brian Stann in his first fight back and then beat Michael Bisping by a controversial unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 2 to earn another title shot. After the second loss to Silva, he nearly retired before deciding to call out light heavyweight champ Jones and moving up a weight class in an attempt to challenge him. Opening UFC 159 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Jones an extra large -975 favorite (bet $975 to win $100) while Sonnen opened as a +675 underdog (bet $100 to win $675) according to the MMA odds. This is almost as big of a mismatch as Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar, but apparently one UFC president Dana White does not mind building up for the next six months because he sees it as a fight many MMA fans are willing to pay to see. The problem is, White is hurting the integrity of the sport by making more legitimate title contenders like Glover Teixeira and Alexander Gustafsson wait what could end up being up to a year or more for a shot at the belt. And what about those fighters who were presumably next in line, Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida? While the coaching matchup on TUF 17 would seem to make for intriguing TV, the fact of the matter is that Sonnen is just 6-5 in the UFC and has somehow “earned” a third title shot in five fights despite getting chased from one division to another that might be even more stacked. Jones will be healing from an arm injury he suffered against Belfort in his last fight until April, so the timing of this championship bout is the only thing that really makes sense. A fight against Jones’ former training partner Rashad Evans would have been more appropriate for Sonnen, but White clearly wanted him to face Jones instead. This is just another questionable decision made by the UFC brass in an effort to make money instead of rewarding fighters who are climbing the ranks the hard way. Sonnen might have an edge in wrestling, but against a well-rounded champ like Jones who has never been taken down and is still learning and continuously fine-tuning his skills, pairing these two is a big mistake. The lopsided odds reflect that.

Written by Matty

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