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UFC 159: Sunday Afternoon Thoughts

-We saw one of the strangest cards in recent memory last night at UFC 159. The fights were solid but there were so many extenuating circumstances that made for an extremely strange card. Jon Jones is the champ and remains the top fighter at 205, but a toe injury sustained during the fight could keep him out for 10-12 weeks. It is rather disappointing to see one of the great talents in MMA waste his prime years fighting middleweights like Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen. Unfortunately, we didn’t learn anything new about Jones last night. Here’s to hoping he recovers quickly and can take on Alexander Gustafsson relatively soon. Meanwhile, Chael Sonnen will likely retire unless he can get a few big money grudge match fights, ala Renzo Gracie vs. Matt Hughes. If the UFC wanted to match up Sonnen with Vitor Belfort in a fight in Brazil, I think Sonnen would be interested in another payday.

-We didn’t learn anything new about Michael Bisping last night either. Alan Belcher fought a dumb fight and let the quick hands of Bisping touch up his face because of his low-hanging hands. Once it became clear that Belcher couldn’t grapple with Bipsing, he had nothing for him. Bisping’s speed and cardio was too much for Belcher and he looked completely done by round three. It seemed like Belcher’s injury was to his eyelid and not the actual eyeball, but hopefully his retina is intact and he can fight again soon.

-Roy Nelson’s overhand right is a dangerous weapon. It’s funny how every heavyweight knows it’s coming but most can’t stop it. Nelson continues to do what he does: knock dudes out. It seems like he’ll take on Daniel Cormier next which is probably a bad matchup for Nelson. Cormier has faster hands and better wrestling than the former Ultimate Fighter Champion. At the same time, you can’t count Nelson out because of his big right hand that can put anyone out.

-Phil Davis proved he was a better striker and wrestler than Vinny Magalhaes last night. Magalhaes has improved his striking and he did a good job of avoiding excessive damage but he still got destroyed standing. Davis cruised to a decision after he managed to get Magalhaes off his back in round 1.

-Pat Healy beat Jim Miller at his own game, tiring out Miller and using his size and strength to bully Miller in rounds 2 and 3. Healy’s size and grappling ability is going to be a tough out for anyone in the lightweight division.

-Sara McMann looked great tonight. She’s moving closer to a fight with Rousey and I think she is the only one who has a chance to take her out. Gian Villante also learned the hard way that the New Jersey State Athletic commission doesn’t play around when it comes to fighter safety. I’ve said many times that it is stupid for referees to ask fighters if they can see because they’ll obviously lie, but when a fighter responds “No” to that question the referee has no choice but to stop the fight. Oh, and Ovince St. Preux was pretty disappointing overall in that fight. After his fifth straight loss, you have to think Leonard Garcia will finally get his walking papers from the UFC.

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Fight Cards

Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis

Event Date: November 4, 2016
Broadcast: Spike

UFC Fight Night 98: Dos Anjos vs. Ferguson

Event Date: November 5, 2016
Broadcast: TBD

Bellator 164: Koreshkov vs. Lima

Event Date: November 11, 2016
Broadcast: Spike Sports

UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor

Event Date: November 12, 2016
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 165: Chandler Vs. Henderson

Event Date: November 19, 2016
Broadcast: Spike TV

UFC Fight Night 99: Mousasi vs. Hall 2

Event Date: November 19, 2016
Broadcast: TBD