Four additional matchups have been announced for the upcoming UFC 159: “Jones vs Sonnen” event on April 27th in Newark, New Jersey. Among them is a lightweight bout between veteran contenders Jim Miller and Pat “Bam Bam” Healy, which is expected to be a part of the night’s main card.
The UFC 159 co-main event, as first reported by ESPN.com today, features Michael “The Count” Bisping taking on Alan “The Talent” Belcher at 185 pounds. Other confirmed bouts pit Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis against Vinny “Pezao” Magalhães and Roy “Big Country” Nelson against Cheick Kongo.
Miller (22-4-0) is coming off of one of his most impressive performances inside the Octagon. At UFC 155 in December, he defeated a bloodied Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon via Unanimous Decision in one of the UFC’s best fights of 2012. The win got Miller back on track after losses to current champion “Smooth” Benson Henderson and divisional standout Nate Diaz in two of his past three fights. Miller remains one of the top contenders at 155 pounds and could get himself back into the title hunt with a win in April.
Healy (29-16-0) has won nine of his past ten fights and is currently in the midst of a career resurgence. He had been scheduled to compete for the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship before the promotion folded, but injuries to champion Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez delayed and ultimately cancelled the fight. Healy now returns to the UFC for the first time since his lone Octagon appearance in August 2006. He became MFC Welterweight Champion in 2009 and had great success as a lightweight in Strikeforce.
Both Bisping (23-5-0) and Belcher (18-7-0) will be looking to rebound from tough losses in their most recent outings. Bisping once again lost out on a UFC title shot when he was knocked out by Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort earlier this month at UFC on FX 7. He had won five of his past six prior to the costly setback. Belcher was also on the brink of championship contention until he dropped a Unanimous Decision to Yushin “Thunder” Okami in a rematch at UFC 155.
The light heavyweight bout between Davis (10-1-0, 1 NC) and Magalhães (10-5-0, 1 NC) came to fruition after weeks of campaigning from Magalhães, who accused Davis of ducking him. Davis has lost just one time in his career, in a five-round bout with “Suga” Rashad Evans one year ago. The standout wrestler most recently submitted Wagner “Caldeirao” Prado at UFC 153. Magalhães, a former M-1 champion, made a successful return to the Octagon by submitting Igor “The Duke” Pokrajac at UFC 152.
Rounding out the card so far, Nelson (18-7-0) and Kongo (18-7-2) will meet in a featured heavyweight matchup. Nelson is coming off of back-to-back first-round knockout victories, which potentially saved his job with the UFC after a 1-3 patch that included losses to Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum and former UFC champions Frank Mir and Junior “Cigano” dos Santos. The TUF 10 winner looks to make it three in a row when he faces Kongo, who has earned victories in three of his past four fights and most recently decisioned Shawn “The Savage” Jordan at UFC 149 in July.
UFC 159: “Jones vs Sonnen” takes place on April 27th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The event is headlined by a UFC Light Heavyweight bout between champion Jon “Bones” Jones and challenger Chael Sonnen.
(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)