defeated Chael Sonnen via technical knockout on Saturday, April 27 to defend his UFC light heavyweight title. His victory capped a rather weird evening that featured multiple eye pokes, a dislocated thumb and a possible broken big toe.COMMENTARY | Jon Jones
Here are three thoughts on UFC 159:
A bizarre night
It's rare for one fight to end with a technical decision on a card let alone two of them, but that's just part of the story for UFC 159. First, a bout between Nick Catone and James Head was called off after Catone made a trip to the hospital due to dehydration.
Later, two fights on the card were stopped because of accidental eye pokes. One of those fights was still up in the air when the incident occurred, but referee Kevin Mulhall failed to give Gian Villante any time to recover before asking the fighter if he could see. A fighter normally has five minutes to pull it together, but in this case, Mulhall asked Villante immediately. Villante understandably replied that he couldn't see, and the fight was stopped. Villante's opponent, Ovince St. Preux, was named the victor via technical decision.
Michael Bisping and Allen Belcher were both guilty of incidental eye pokes in their fight. However, it was Bisping's poke in the second round that caused the end of the bout. Belcher suffered the poke in the same eye that underwent surgery for a detached retina a few years ago. Hopefully, his current injury looks worse than it actually is. He's a very good fighter who nearly always puts on a show in the cage.
Finally, Jon Jones sustained what appeared to be a broken or dislocated big toe during the first round of his bout with Chael Sonnen. He didn't notice the injury until the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, who quickly called over a doctor and got the champion a chair.
Mixed martial arts is a combat sport, and injuries are expected to happen from time to time, but I can't remember when so many bizarre things happened on one card. I had to the check the calendar to make sure that it wasn't Friday the 13th.
Phil Davis needs better opponents
There comes a point when a fighter is established enough to start challenging higher-ranked opponents. Phil Davis hasn't had a bout against a major opponent since losing to Rashad Evans in January 2012. He's already beaten Alexander Gustafsson, Brian Stann and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in his career. He doesn't have any more to prove against guys outside of the top ten.
Davis absolutely dominated Vinny Magalhaes on Saturday night, which surprised no one. Let's see him face fighters who will pose a greater threat to him in the future. I'd like to see the UFC give him a top-five opponent.
Roy Nelson earns another knockout
There are times when Roy Nelson is a hard guy to like. His attitude on "The Ultimate Fighter" is a testament to that. However, there's no disputing how much fun it is to watch him compete in the cage. Nelson scored yet another knockout on Saturday night in his victory over Cheick Kongo, and he put on a show celebrating in front of the fans afterwards.
Yet I still wonder what the UFC can do with him. After all, he's lost every time he's fought a high-ranked opponent in the UFC. Now Nelson is calling for a shot at the heavyweight title, but I don't believe he deserves it. Nelson needs to beat a top-five fighter like Daniel Cormier first.
Derek Ciapala has been following MMA for 20 years. He has been published on Yahoo! Sports, UltimateApocalypse.com and multiple other websites. You can check him out on Facebook or on Twitter @dciapala.
- Sports & Recreation
- Martial Arts
- Chael Sonnen
- Jon Jones
- Roy Nelson
- Gian Villante