Just days away from Saturday’s fight card, the UFC turned its attention to the April 27th UFC 159 fight card by adding four high-profile bouts. Prior to the flurry of announcements the only bout that was official for UFC 159 was the main event between TUF 17 coaches Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen.
In the co-main event spot will be a middleweight bout between Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher. Both fighters are coming off losses but had been riding lengthy winning streaks prior to that. This fight has been a long time in the making; the two have verbally spared in the past and will finally get the settle things inside the Octagon. The winner should get himself back in title contention while the loser will have a long way back to the top.
Speaking of verbal sparring, light heavyweights Phil Davis and Vinny Magalhaes have been going back and forth for nearly a month and now they will put up or shut up at UFC 159. Magalhaes began the trash talking after Davis’ UFC 155 co-main event bout with Forrest Griffin was scrapped due to injury. Davis shot back with the Brazilian should replace Griffin but Magalhaes declined due to the short notice. The two have been going back and forth ever since and will likely continue for the next three months.
Also announced was a heavyweight bout between Ultimate Fighter 10 winner Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo in a battle of gatekeepers. Nelson is coming off back to back first round knockout wins, most recently over Matt Mitrione at the TUF 16 finale. Kongo is coming off a decision win over Shawn Jordan that was lackluster at best at UFC 149. Nelson will clearly have the decisive advantage on the ground but will likely stand at trade with the kickboxer and turn the fight into his typical slugfest.
Last but not certainly not least is a lightweight scrap between Jim Miller and the former Strikeforce #1 contender Pat Healy. Before the other ZUFFA promotion was rolled into the UFC, Healy was set to get a title shot against Gilbert Melendez but an injury to the champ prevented that and Melendez now faces UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson in his promotional debut. Healy is riding a six fight winning streak into the Octagon but has been out of action since January of 2012. Miller is coming off a “Fight of the Night” win over Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 and despite a 2-2 record in his last four; the New Jersey native is one of the top lightweights in the UFC. Overall though Miller has a 11-3 record with the UFC and holds notable wins over Melvin Guillard, Mark Bocek, Duane Ludwig and Charles Oliveira.
Only the co-main event spot has been assigned on the fight card, but the other three bouts could very well join them on the UFC 159 main card.