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UFC 159: Chael Sonnen & Alan Belcher thoroughly dominated, night of strange finishes

By Zach Arnold | April 27, 2013

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Event: UFC 159 (4/27 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey)


Event: UFC 158 (3/16 Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Dana White announced that Ronda Rousey would coach a co-ed version of The Ultimate Fighter next season.

Event: The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale (4/13 Las Vegas, Nevada)

Dana White announced The Ultimate Fighter: Real World edition will air on the new Fox Sports 1 channel this Summer. The bad news is that we won’t see the Miesha Tate/Ronda Rousey grudge re-match, but the good news is we have Cat Zingano on the scene. I think the fans will be more than satisfied. The women are taking over.

The Ultimate Fighter finale was held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Kind of a large building for this show, no?

The referee who told Travis Browne “good job” for using illegal elbows to bludgeon Gabriel Gonzaga should be suspended. His name is Chris Tognoni. Keith Kizer would like you to believe that he’s more suitable to be booked than John McCarthy.

Who did Urijah Faber & Scott Jorgensen piss off to draw Patricia Morse Jarman & Tony Weeks (boxing referee) as judges for their fight?

Total success for UFC Fox event in San Jose… but is there a new California judging controversy?

Lots of finishes. A little controversy. A largely smooth night for the California State Athletic Commission. Hot, active crowd.

Regarding the Gilbert Melendez/Ben Henderson fight… I came away agreeing with Wade Vierra’s 48-47 score in favor of Melendez. Henderson was really cautious. It wasn’t the kind of performance I was expecting out of him, as I thought he would be more aggressive. After the fight was over, I thought to myself that I would not be surprised by *any* score the judges came up with for the outcome.

So, imagine my surprise when Julius Henderson chimed in with the following…

The Judge who went against Ben is a Cesar Gracie affiliate student, how did he get picked to judge?

The judge he’s referring to is Wade Vierra. Wade’s BJJ background and fighting experience is why he’s getting booked for California shows, especially UFC events. Andy Foster values real fighting experience and Wade fits the bill. But did Julius Henderson just raise a real conflict-of-interest oversight moment here?

McKinley Noble (Bleacher Report): Did Team Cesar Gracie plant a judge to fix Melendez vs. Henderson?

Jason Probst (MMA Mania): Judge who scored bout for Gilbert Melendez at UFC on FOX 7 runs Cesar Gracie affiliate school in Roseville, California

If the various MMA web sites are going to pick up on this story, then at the very least it means that there will be a tempest in a teapot. Should Wade have been booked for the main event given this apparent conflict-of-interest? Probably not. Do I think Wade did a fair job with the way he scored the bout? Yeah, I do. I agreed with his assessment. However, the potential appearance of impropriety of anything related to a conflict-of-interest is something that California can’t afford to have on a big stage. I’m not emotionally worked up about this situation to go all fire and brimstone, but I completely understand where Julius Henderson is coming from here.

Luke Thomas comments:

Even if Vierra didn’t act in bad faith, it matters not at all. A commission this willing to put officials with relationships to key competitors this meaningful and overlapping automatically fails the smell test. It didn’t affect the outcome as such this time, but we may not all be so lucky the next time out.


A couple of other interesting notes from an inside baseball perspective and how officials throughout the state of California reacted to what they saw on TV:

Event: UFC on Fox (4/20 San Jose at HP Pavilion)
TV: Fox over-the-air

Topics: CSAC, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 83 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

83 Responses to “UFC 159: Chael Sonnen & Alan Belcher thoroughly dominated, night of strange finishes”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    A lot of solid fights in March & April. The UFC on FOX card is probably the best one from top to bottom.

    It is obvious to see why they are making some roster cuts now. They have 3 to 4 fights deep on the Facebook Prelims. They really should only be at 1 or 2 fights as back up just in case a main card or FX Prelim fight gets cancelled on short notice.

    My guess would be that from these 5 cards, we will see 30 or so cuts.

  2. david m says:

    Dear God,

    Please let Nick Diaz choke out or knock out GSP; it would mean a lot to me and to all fight fans who like to watch guys who fight to finish their opponents, rather than to outpoint them.


    • 45 Huddle says:

      Since beating Matt Serra to reclaim the Welterweight Title, George St. Pierre’s opponents streaks of not being finished….

      Jon Fitch – 16 Fights Without Being Finished
      BJ Penn – 17 of 18 Fights
      Thiago Alves – 7 Fights
      Dan Hardy – 21 Fights
      Josh Koscheck – 13 of 14 Fights
      Jake Shields – 28 Fights
      Carlos Condit – 13 of 14 Fights

      This idea that GSP is a point fighter is comical. He is fighting Top of the Food Chain guys basically every time out. And not just top guys…. but guys who typically win and almost never get finished. So because he doesn’t get finishes, he is somehow less of a fighter? Hardly. He is the 2nd most accomplished champion of all time on numbers alone…. And the most accomplished champion of all time on strength of schedule.

      It’s the same thing with Ben Henderson. He is 6-0 in the UFC, and all by decisions.

      Nate Diaz – 16 Fights
      Frank Edgar – 17 Fights (Never Been Finished In Career)
      Clay Guida – 8 of 9 Fights
      Jim Miller – 22 Fights (Never Been Finished Up Until Then)
      Mac Danzig – 8 of 10 Fights (Worst of the Bunch)

      This isn’t Bellator where probably over 75% of the main card fights get finishes. These are tough fights.

      And GSP is going to wreck Diaz. It will probably look very much like Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz.

      • edub says:

        My guess is GSP finishes Diaz on cuts, or it goes like the Condit fight and he pwns him in every round.

      • david m says:

        GSP is a great fighter. I may pick him to beat Anderson Silva, honestly. But he is definitely not out there fighting to try to hurt motherfuckers. Diaz is. All the guys you mentioned–Fitch, Hardy, Koscheck, Shields, Penn–have been subsequently brutalized in ways that GSP couldn’t dream of. Fitch got KTFO, Alves got choked out, Hardy got stopped in his next 2 fights after GSP, Shields didn’t last a minute in his next fight after GSP, and the list goes on.

        I don’t think you are smart enough to intentionally distort information, but if you were, I would have accused you of having done so. GSP usually fights to win and take as little damage as possible and put himself in as few dangerous situations as possible. I don’t blame him for that! He is an amazing fighter, I respect his dedication to the sport, I admire his craft, and I am glad he is in mma. That being said, I hope Diaz fucking trainwrecks him because Nick Diaz is a fucking fighter who doesn’t stick to a Greg Jackson gameplan, and instead walks forward at motherfuckers to try to hurt them and finish them.

        Truthfully, GSP’s fight against Condit was one of my favorite GSP fights ever, because he actually was in dangerous situations and had to actually engage occasionally before resorting to takedowns.

  3. Chris says:

    Great fights coming up, that Fox card is insane.

    Enough of the watered down bullshit talk, look at these cards, even a TUF finale has good fights on it.

    But that FOx 7 card, look at the prelims.

    Look at what the FX prelims can be


    And then either Tuck/Norman, my guess since Norman won TUF, Bowling/Njokuani or Starks/Yoel.

    That is more than good enough to be a Fight night card on its own.

  4. RST says:

    Good god!

    I just listened to that Diaz/GSP conferance call

    What a trainwreck!

    That gave me a headache!

    I figured out whats wrong with Diaz

    Its not crazy, or ADHD or a pot deficiency

    He’s just stupid

    He’s just a standard issue dumb guy who’s only smart for fighting

    And the reason that he has a chip on his shoulder and always wants to fight is probably because he knows that

    Thats why he’s always worried and insecure about “respect”

    Because anybody with half a wit will notice it after they hear him talk for about 10 minutes

    Thats probably why he doesn’t want to do promotional stuff

    I mean the rambling, the repeating himself, the stuttering, the misdirections, the rabbitholes, the deadends and after 45 minutes of all that he never actually said anything

    I can also see how that would be the perfect attribute for setting the twitter world on fire!

    I love Diaz ,
    but he’s a dummy

    • Mark says:

      But if you took away Nick’s mentally ill angry pothead personality, what would he have? He’d be fighting Matt Brown on the undercard while Hendricks fights St. Pierre in the main event.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    Between the UFC and Bellator…. It was only a matter of time before somebody did a MMA Reality Series with both men and women in the same house. I don’t watch much reality TV…. But I’m sure the people who do enjoy that garbage will eat it all up.


    I thought I was losing my love for MMA after the first two PPV fights. Then I realized I just don’t like low level MMA. Ellenberger/Marquardt and Hendricks/Condit were fantastic fights.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      And there is absolutely no reason for a fight between the #1 & #2 ranked fighters in the division to be 3 rounds. So Silva/Stann gets 5 rounds but Condit/Hendricks gets 3? You have to be kidding me.

      I think anytime there is a fight between two guys ranked as the 6 best (Champion & Top 5)… It should be 5 rounds.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    How can Diaz not lose a point for trying to attack his opponent after the bell during multiple rounds? You have to be kidding me.

  7. RST says:

    I missed the rest of them,
    but the top of the card was all good.

    Glad Marquardt is out of the way for immediate future.

    Condit loves that Pogo knee.
    It looks so awkward thats its weird when he pulls it off again.
    He gets away with that goofy teep to the face too.

    Hendricks really is little Hendo.

    No strategy and all.

    Just a whirlwind of bad intentions,
    fast and heavy handed in your face.

    Interesting to see Hendriks going for TD’s (which he got), when he couldn’t land the

    ole hot one.

    I think I see why he has been trying so hard to pull a Diaz in the MMA press.

    He might not necessarily “deserve” a shot either.
    But I do think that he’s the best avenue out of the avenues available.

    He’s strong, dangerous and fun to watch.
    But not well rounded.

    I guess landing in top mount got him the W this time.
    But he wont be threatening GSP with anything other then haymakers.

    Diaz did better then I expected.
    That boy is a bred combatant.

    Of course GSP also did better then I expected against Diaz’ boxing.
    He didn’t hide behind takedowns.

    Diaz looked so much bigger then GSP at the weighins.
    He really has grown (physically) with age.

    If shmilva is going to insist on fighting the best 170’s,
    (to cement his G.O.A.T. status of course),
    Diaz would be an dynamic style matchup and a great fight for watching at.

    I dont think shmilva can finish Nick Diaz

    And it should be a title fight.

    (If he’s still got the title that is.)

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    The Turtle is the new Butt Scoot…. Could Diaz stall anymore during that fight by getting on all 4’s and just trying to hold and an arm and do nothing?

    The Strikeforce Champions…. Alistair Oveerem, Dan Henderson, Jake Shields, & Nick Diaz… Are 5-6 in the UFC. And 0-3 in UFC Title Fights.

    Should be interesting to see how Rockhold, Saffiedine, & Melendez are going to do. Something tells me not very good….

    Oh Nick is going to quit MMA…. Thank God!!! Plus he is going to fail the piss test anyways….. What a thug…

  9. RST says:

    “The Strikeforce Champions… – And 0-3 in UFC Title Fights.”

    Whats the best win on shmilvas record? A mathematical record doesn’t always tell the whole story.

    “Should be interesting to see how Rockhold, Saffiedine, & Melendez are going to do.”

    I’ve heard a smidge aboot Rockhold and Saffiedine. I’d be pleasantly surprised. I have the best expectations for Melendez.

    Bendo is going to have to work for a living IMO. NOT THAT HE HASN’T! Bendo worked hard and won fair and square. I just mean that he’s not getting a break!

    “Oh Nick is going to quit MMA…. Thank God!!!”

    Nick Diaz has NEVER GOTTEN HIS ASS KICKED! (Well except for that one time when KJ Noons turned him into hamburger.) But ever since he got his scar tissue fixed, NICK DIAZ HAS NEVER BEEN FINISHED/ASS KICKED!

    What would you rather see? Jones/chael, or Diaz/shmilva?

    And I remember YOU far back enough, that you know damn well that he never lost CONVINCINCLY! When ufc let him go! He was too good to lose, but a perpetual contender. He was Fitch! So I would prefer that you dont tell me how absurd that is, so that I dont have to dig up you justifying it before tonight.

    • Mark says:

      Anderson/Nick would only work as Silva’s test for whatever catch weight he’s planning to fight GSP at. Otherwise, we’ll just get a bunch of “Oh, look at Silva beating up on guys who barely make Welterweight, what a champ!” trolling from the Silva haters. At least Sonnen has fought at 205 before (although this will be anything but a competitive fight and will surely get “farce” cries after Jones destroys Sonnen.)

  10. RST says:

    I apologize to Señor 45.

    All of a sudden I’ve become a Diaz apologist.
    (Although thats probably only an extension of always being a fan.)

    To say that Diaz deserves to be fired,
    is truly as fair as a zuffa truth comes.

    Or a real as the business.

  11. Mark says:

    I am shocked at how many people actually gave Diaz a chance to win this fight online, and the betting money that came in on him.

    GSP has never shown himself vulnerable to BJJ, Diaz had a rep for not being crazy about fighting wrestlers, Diaz has been laid off for a year. I think it was the most given main event result in a while. But I guess it shows the importance of entertaining trash talk and wolf tickets and all.

  12. 45 Huddle says:

    The next 3 logic fights to make are….

    GSP/Hendricks, Maia/Ellenberger, & Diaz/MacDonald. They could even switch it around and do Maia/Diaz and Ellenberger/MacDonald.

    Either way, Diaz is losing 3 in a row based on those 2 fights.

    • Alan Conceicao says:

      Why not do MacDonald/Condit 2 now? Condit’s on a slide, he’s obviously never going to be more than what he is now, might as well let MacDonald get the win back before moving forwards. No reason to rush him into a GSP fight.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        GSP vs. MacDonald will never happen.

        I figured that MacDonald beat Nate Diaz…. So it could be promoted as Nick Diaz seeking to avenge his brother’s loss.

        And Condit should probably rematch Kampmann. Would make for a perfect FX Main Event.

  13. Todd says:

    TUF 18 – The Big Brother Addition?

    I’m going to watch this train wreck happening in the new season. I wonder if being trained by Rhonda will improve the talent of the men’s bantamweight hopefuls coming to the show.

    • Mark says:

      I am sure this revelation thrills former cast members who weren’t allowed contact with their wives or girlfriends because “you need to focus on your fights.” Especially whoever that guy was who quit in Season 3 when Dana wouldn’t let him call his girlfriend.

      “Hey, you can’t contact loved ones. But FOX will let you play up sexual tension to save our failing show.”

  14. david m says:

    I thought Condit won. Not a good decision IMO. Hendricks did absolutely nothing with his takedowns–Condit was very busy from the bottom, always hitting and threatening with subs and getting up easily. I guess it is better for the sport for a new challenger to fight GSP, but still, Condit didn’t deserve that. Also, that fight, given that it was to determine who got a title fight, should have been 5 rounds.

  15. 45 Huddle says:

    What a complete clusterf#ck the Sweden show has turned into. I feel bad for the fans who bought tickets. They are getting screwed.

    It does go to show that the UFC probably doesn’t need 4 shows in one month.

    The PPV and FOX shows are both very solid. The TUF show is decent for a TUF Finale. But imagine if they didn’t have the FUEL show this month. It would have strengthened the TUF Finale and no one card would have fallen apart like we had here when Gustafsson got injured.

    The UFC needs to continue to reduce it’s roster size…. And stop with all of these cards that have stuff like Pearson/Couture for a co-main event.

    According to the UFC Website, they currently have 387 fighters on their roster. I think a couple of those fighters don’t compete anymore, but it is probably around 375 fighters. They need to cut an additional 75 guys…. The sooner the better.

    • Robert Poole says:

      I’m personally adverse to having any more than 2 UFC shows a month ever. UFC has a HUGE roster, yet it always seems to be in a pinch anytime anybody pulls out due to injury… that’s because you’re running too many shows and spreading your roster too thin. And by 2 shows, I mean 1 PPV and 1 Fox based show. 2 PPVs in a month is idiotic.

  16. RST says:

    I like the Gegard/Latifi fight.

    I like it better then the Gegard/Gustaffson fight,
    at this moment in time.

    Its all win IMO.

    There is still a drama angle there with Latifi being a gustaffson partner.

    Gegard gets to see the inside of ufc’s cage at least once before being thrown in front of one of their top 3 205’s.

    If Latifi wins,
    Gegards stock wont drop that far and they’ve got a new instant star.

    If Latifi loses,
    his stock still goes up because now people at least know who he is.

    And if he looks good in a loss it goes up even further.

    joe silva must not have been answering the phone when they matched this fight.

    He would have done something stupid like putting vanderlei silva in there.

    • Mark says:

      If Latifi wins,
      Gegards stock wont drop that far and they’ve got a new instant star.

      With outsiders (and a Strikeforce fighter on Mousasi’s level is an outsider to many UFC-only fans) that’s never a certain. After being trained for 8 years to think “Nobody with a bunch of wins in Japan is a legitimate fighter”, do they care he was The Man in DREAM? Or do they think “Well, one guy we never heard of beat the guy was kinda heard of but don’t respect because DREAM isn’t real MMA. Swell.”?

      • Robert Poole says:

        I can’t see how a loss to a nobody whom most people think doesn’t deserve to be in a UFC main event doesn’t cripple Mousasi’s stock quite a bit. I don’t think there’s a single scenario where that wouldn’t push Mousasi 4-5 fights away from a title at the very least.

        • Mark says:

          Yeah, just remember the Heath Herring and Jake O’Brien fight. Herring never got heavily promoted again after the fight, and Jake O’Brien wasn’t a new superstar because of it.

    • Kalle says:

      The problem is that without Gustafsson on the card you’re paying UFC prices for a card filled with fighters and fights you could see on the Swedish local circuit at 1/10th of the price.

      If you’re paying the equivalent of $300 for a ticket then replacing the only big name fighter on the card with a virtual nobody is more than a slap in the face.

  17. klown says:

    Um.. Travis Browne by elbows to the back of the head?

  18. klown says:

    I’m OK with the Tate stoppage. She was getting her ass kicked. It’s possible she was going for a take-down at the end, but the ref wasn’t unreasonable in thinking she’d been dropped by a punch. It looked like a knockdown to me. Tate will return to fight another day, but adding a 3rd woman to the mix of contenders makes things a lot more interesting.

  19. The Gaijin says:

    LOL @Uriah Hall…clearly a guy that was reading his own headlines a bit too much. He’s certainly no title contender, just another TUF pretender that will be fighting for his job in a year’s time.

    I guess it’s not hard to look like a world beater pounding out a bunch a c-level regional mma fighters though.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      I was impressed by the TUF winner. Not saying he will become anything special, but he showed a lot of heart and good skill for being so young. He needs to drop down to Welterweight.

      • The Gaijin says:

        100% agreed – I was saying the same thing to my buddy last night. Kid’s got a lot of heart and was a grinder who got the job done and didn’t let the hype intimidate him, but he can easily cut down to 170.

        Hall – learn to wrestle and not fall in love with your striking.

  20. edub says:

    A few thoughts:

    -Samman literally spiked the rapper on his head multiple times (and even lined him up for his last one). Isn’t that illegal even if he’s locked in an armbar. Slams are fine. Spiking somebody headfirst I always thought was a no no.

    -Browne’s elbows and Cat’s first big knee that landed against Tate in a scramble were both illegal. Something needs to be done about the officials missing this stuff.

    -Hated the Tate stoppage. She was getting blitzed, but wasn’t out. I thought it was obvious she was going for a takedown, and it wasn’t a knockdown.

    • klown says:

      I rewatched Cingano-Tate. The finishing sequence consisted of 4 undefended knees to the face followed by a devastating downward elbow. Damn. Further damage would have been uncalled for…

  21. edub says:

    Oh yea.

    And Uriah Hall lost. Big surprise.

  22. 45 Huddle says:

    I love watching the Diaz Brothers lose. I love watching them get TKO’d even better.

    They are now a combined 18-13 in the UFC…. Nothing to write home about. And they are 0-3 in title fights. And everybody has figured them out.

    Strikers need to move around and not brawl with them…. Like Thomson & Condit did. Grapplers need to take them down and grind them out. And leg kicks are their huge weakness.

    There are 2 fights left, and what a card so far. The entire 8 fights on the undercard were very good….. And so far the first 2 fights on FOX have been fantastic.

  23. 45 Huddle says:

    I had the Henderson/Melendez fight 48-47 for Henderson.

    I thought Melendez won rounds 1 and 2. Henderson won rounds 2, 3, 4.

    For all of the people saying Melendez won…. The strike numbers just don’t show it. I really am not sure what fight people were watching that they thought Melendez won…

    Henderson basically doubled his number of sig strikes in the 3rd and 4th rounds…. And connected with more then double of overall strikes int he 2nd round.

    • nottheface says:

      fightmetric scored rounds 1,2, and 5 10-10 each. Surprising because was there a clearer round than round 1, which almost everyone unanimously gave to Melendez? Overall I scored it 49-48 giving Melendez rounds 1 and 5, Henderson round 3, and round 2 and 4 10-10. Basically I thought it was a coin toss.

      • edub says:

        I’m honestly losing faith in the fightmetric scoring blog part. How they scored the first 10-10 is beyond me.

        • nottheface says:

          I discussed it with Rami at Fightmetric and it really boils down the objective criteria they measure. Under the unified rules it was pretty obvious a win for Melendez (specifically, effective defense give him the nod) but in the offensive data measured it was the same for both fighters.

          And example is that in the first round, all four times Gil caught Henderson’s kick and then followed up, he was only rewarded for the strikes and the one knockdown he got on top of Gil afterwards. The other knockdown, the fact he caught the kick and countered didn’t mean anything to them. In turn. Henderson was rewarded for each kick, so they basically came out even in exchanges that everyone gave overwhelming to Gil.

  24. PizzaChef says:

    Another issue with Benson’s timing: Some FOX stations cut off their broadcast early and went into local news, so the decision wasn’t even broadcasted. I had to find out online.

  25. Mark says:

    It was a tremendous show. The exact thing they need for FOX specials.

    I can see the argument for Gilbert winning (although I only had him winning 1 and 5), but it did not deserve the epic booing it got. Fights that close, no matter who you thought won, can’t be considered a robbery. I know it was Melendez’s hometurf in Strikeforce country and all, but the fans were ridiculous.

    But my biggest takeaway was Matt Brown really made himself a star last night. That’s the exact kind of performance Dana goes gaga for, so he’ll certainly be bumped up in opponent status now. And he probably also really got over with Dana with all of the post-fight profanity.

  26. Mark says:

    If he lost the San Jose Screwjob I’d be mad about a Cesar trainee judging the fight of a fellow Cesar Gracie trainee. But MMA is such an incestuous sport, going back to the days when UFC’s top star was the brother of the co-promoter, or even in recent history where the BFF of their top star was the UFC President, that this kind of thing is bound to happen occasionally. It’ll realistically take a few more years before ties like this get broken in a young sport.

  27. Jonathan says: is reporting that Nate Diaz made $15,000 for his fight against Josh Thompson, who made $95,000.

    How he is only making $15k after coming off of a title fight is beyond me.

    • Bruiser says:

      He probably just had it lowered and got an undisclosed payout. There is no way that Nate fights for a pittance with big brother setting the example and continually getting what he wants.

      Plausible: Less money to lose to commission penalties – missing weight, failed drug test
      Not that plausible: Clouds the publicly available information on his earnings (following Nick’s tax comments)

    • Mark says:

      Maybe he’s still on a TUF deal? Didn’t UFC work those rubes into fighting for chump change (IIRC 15/15) in exchange for the glory of being on the reality show? Plus, the guy talks like he’s incredibly stupid, so maybe he’s just dumb enough to sign the first deal they offer?

  28. Nepal says:

    It’s amazing to me that there is little to no noise about the Larkin vs Carmont decision. I had Larkin winning all 3 rounds and was shocked to hear Carmont won.

    I was so surprised I went to a few web sites and virtually all had Larkin winning 29/28, giving round 3 to Carmont… the round Larkin came very close with his kimura.

    The only desenter was’s Dave Doyle who scored it 29/28 Carmont and scored the rounds exactly opposite virtually everyone else. i.e. he gave 1&2 to Carmont and 3 to Larkin.

    Go figure…

  29. 45 Huddle says:

    UFC on FOX 7 did 3.7 Million viewers…. Which is down from their NFL season ratings (4+ Million) but way up for the same card this time last year (2.4 Million).

    The main event (Henderson vs. Melendez) did 4.7 Million viewers.

    The best comparison is NASCAR on FOX the week before during the same time slot…. NASCAR did 5.78 Million viewers… But NASCAR got a 1.4 in the 18-49 Ratings…. And the UFC got a 1.5. And the main event did a 3.3 in the 18-49 demographic…. Which is insanely high.

    If you actually take the ~30 minute slot for the main event…. The 18-49 rating is getting Big Bang Theory & American Idol Numbers…. Which is unbelievable.

    So while the UFC might not bring in a huge overall number, it is that key demographic which makes it so valuable to FOX.

    • Mark says:

      The demo only matters more than the overall if you’re getting top advertisers coming in to put young men in their advertisement crosshairs.

      The problem is UFC only seems to be getting the same exact advertisers they’ve always had buying ad time (Harley, Budweiser, TapOuT and ubiquitous fourth rate cell phone company currently played by MetroPCS.) So that’s not screaming “hot commodity” at me when what they replace in the timeslot gets far more diverse ad buys and they’re the same companies who buy ad time on the Fuel shows.

      And I remember the non-Zuffa haters bashing Strikeforce and EliteXC for only being able to get lowbrow sponsors like Affliction, Street Fighter and crappy horror movies on CBS. So the difference is…..?

      • 45 Huddle says:

        EliteXC & SF both skewed much older in their TV ratings…. which is why they had problems getting good advertisers.

        I would say if you compare the UFC’s advertisers to even 3 years ago…. They have made incremental progress. They have a cell phone company (3rd tier… but still a sponsor). They have GEICO. They have Dodge. Things are moving in the right direction.

        • Mark says:

          Bruce Buffer was doing his “Dodge! The Official vehicle of the UFC!” line before they were on FOX.

          And any television program can get a Geico, Nationwide or Progressive ad buy. UFC probably had one of them advertising on UFC 37.5. If it weren’t for car insurance companies, God knows what would happen to television.

  30. The Gaijin says:

    Great article on Sonnen/Jones. Perfectly sums up everything I have thought about Sonnen, his personal character and his gimmick.

    • Mark says:

      The worst thing about this fight is probably the ad. It was so low rent it was embarrassing to see on network television. Some d-bag in iPhone camera quality stealing lines from circa-1998 Taz. I’ve seen better quality ads from local shows running on a shoestring budget. They did a great ad campaign with Chael for the first Silva fight, so the downgrade in quality, especially when hype is all you have for this farce, is indefensible.

  31. RST says:

    As usual Bisping is just good enough to keep almost everybody (including himself) clear of any title shot aspirations.

    I defy anybody to tell me that 185 is and hasn’t been practically barren for 4-5 years.

    Sounds like it was a crap card.
    I hope dana is proud of himself.

    At least Big Country was there to bring a smile to fans of the working class.

    • RST says:

      apparently dana has fluke injured one of the best fighters in the sport AGAIN.

      Just to prove that he can make his employees do any absurd thing he demands them to, again.

      Including headlining another barren card except for the one victim of dana’s ego who is expected to carry the whole thin.


      chael sonnen almost became the LHW champion.

      Think about that.

      (And then vomit up your shoes.)

  32. PizzaChef says:

    This really is a cursed card. The other big news out of the event is the “demon voice” during Bisping vs. Belcher.

  33. 45 Huddle says:

    1) Overall, the refs in NJ were bad for UFC 159.

    2) I didn’t understand the crowd booing Bisping/Belcher. I thought Bisping really brought it well and it didn’t deserve the reaction it was getting.

    3) Sara McMann is not only the real deal… But she is now officially the 2nd UFC Female fighter that I can say impresses me based on her overall technique level. The first being Rousey of course. It isn’t be accident that the two most Olympic tested athletes in the UFC’s female division are the two best. As a fan, if there was 20 or so Rousey/McMann level women, I would have so much more respect for that division.

    4) McMann is hot in a weird nerdy/sporty combination. Plus she comes across as super nice. That is marriage material written all over it.

    5) Sonnen should retire…. Either now…. Or get one more win under his belt and go out that way. He has gotten big paydays. He is up there in age. He is never going to get any higher in his career. No reason to take more punishment for the heck of it.

    6) Would love to see Jones/Silva. I have always thought that is the real super fight. As GSP has said recently, he is more likely to drop to Lightweight. GSP is basically the same size as guys like TJ Grant and Pat Healy. Jones/Silva are more of the same size.

    7) Should Jim Miller drop to Featherweight? Based on the current trends, a guy who is 5’8″ should be a Featherweight these days.

    8. Cheick Kongo needs to retire. He has taken too much brain trauma.

    9) I would love to see Jones vs. Gustaffson. Heck, I would love to see Jones vs. Davis (new and improved). Heck, I would like to see see Jones fight more true Light Heavyweights right now anyways. I don’t care how many wins he has under his belt…. Jones is 6-0 in LHW Title Fights…. And only one of those guys (Rampage) couldn’t theoretically move down to Middleweight. Just like Silva…. His legacy as champion is being slightly tainted by his lack of top tier challengers. This is why I have always had GSP as the best of all time. He has fought a murderer’s row of top competition for years.

    10) UFC is close to getting a sponsorship deal with Reebok. Looks like the UFC is slowly but surely getting the sponsors to follow. This stuff never happens overnight, but it seems like each year they improve on it. There will always be some small limits because they are selling a fight sport, but most of the barriers from 5 years ago are gone. Bud Light, Harley Davidson, Dodge, and now maybe Reebok. The main improvements they could make is going from Metro PCS to Verizon or AT&T….

    • The Gaijin says:

      “Just like Silva…. His legacy as champion is being slightly tainted by his lack of top tier challengers. This is why I have always had GSP as the best of all time. He has fought a murderer’s row of top competition for years.”

      I was with you until here – Rua, Evans, Machida and Rampage – all either current or very recent champions, are absolutely top tier challengers and much better comp than Silva has faced at MW. Heck even Belfort has the former UFC LHW champ on his resume. Jones’ run in 2011 even trumped Rua’s 2005 run (Rampage, Overeem, Lil Nog and Arona all at the top of their games) which is something I never thought I’d see.

    • Manapua says:

      Show was completely pathetic on all levels. UFC’s talk shit matchmaking is getting old and stale.

      • Manapua says:

        Thank goodness Bellator returns in June and we can see title fights that have a competitive reason for taking place. Next up for UFC is Bigfoot vs Cain rematch lol.

        • Robert Poole says:

          While I also think Bigfoot should have had to win a few more fights to get his rematch, who though Cain would wreck JDS in their rematch after the way that first match went? Rematches, even of one sided affairs, often end up being completely different fights. So who knows? Bigfoot certainly has the power to drop Cain.

        • Megatherium says:

          Just make sure you keep Fabricio Werdum away from Cain no matter what. The outcome of that fight might be bad for business.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Yes, because Doug Marshall competing for a title brings all sorts of levels of legitimacy to any belt….

  34. david m says:

    Roy is, at this point, a top 7 hw. His loss to Arlovski was BS, the ref stood them up when he was in mount (IIRC), and he took the fight on short notice. JDS beat him to a pulp, and he lost to Mir while fighting with pneumonia.

    I would rank Roy behind Cain, J2S, Cormier, Werdum, Reem, and that may be it. I think all the boxing with Jeff Mayweather has really paid off. I think Roy would be Bigfoot–styles make fights and Bigfoot is very hittable.

    • Zheroen says:

      You forgot about Werdum completely schooling him on the feet. Nelson is top 10, sure, but not by much. I’d favor Nogueira (even in this Walking Dead-phase of his career), Barnett, Kharitonov, and maybe even Mark Hunt to do well against him. Bigfoot’s size alone would be pretty daunting, as unlike Struve, he actually knows how to use it to his advantage.

    • nottheface says:

      That was a bad standup against Arlovski but there is nothing ot indicate he was going to finish the fight that round – and of course he was KOed in the 2nd so he never had another opportunity. As for taking the fight short notice, so did Arlovski. Both were booked for Affliction II (Arlovski-Barnett. Nelson-Buentello) and both took this fight with less than 2 weeks notice. I think Arlovski got 1 extra day to train.

      He’s lost to Mir, Werdum, and JDS, so while Nelson is good it’s definitely been shown he doesn’t belong in the contenders class.

  35. The Gaijin says:

    45 – I was looking for your updated non-official record of Strikeforce fighters in the UFC against established stars…I’d be interested to see how it looks these days.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      It probably is around .500…. Joe Silva is giving them winnable fights for the most part out of the gate.

      But the one statistic that is most interesting is that Strikeforce fighters are 0-4 in title fights…. And about to be 0-5 after Cain mauls Silva for a 2nd time.

      • nottheface says:

        We’ve calculated at BE that going into the FOX 7 show that all the fighters acquired post buyout (2011) are exactly .500 in the UFC. Something like 24-24-1.

        As for the title fights, I don’t remember anyone really arguing that the SF champs were better than the UFC champs. I think the more common argument was that somehow the Strikeforce fighters were going to get “exposed” as minor leaguers when they got to the UFC. if anything this and the WEC records show that fans don’t know how to properly gauge talent.

        • The Gaijin says:

          That was my thinking as well.

          I’d also point out that GSP accounts for 2 of those W’s (Shields and Diaz) and no one in their right mind was ranking anyone above him. Not to mention the newest Henderson to become the king of decisions (taking over for Dan) barely snuck by with a debated split decision over Melendez.

          Who was the 4th champion to lose a title fight? Why aren’t you counting Ronda Rousey’s win in a title fight?

        • 45 Huddle says:

          The Strikeforce Female Bantamweight Division was ported over to the UFC. Just the same as the WEC Feather & Bantam divisions. They had no point of comparison from the Zuffa talent machine. And the WEC Lightweights were still part of the Zuffa machine. Once again showing what an eye for talent Zuffa really has (even when fans don’t realize it).

          But the proof is in the pudding for the rest of the organizations out there. Look at what happens when things are not part of that Zuffa machine…

          IFL…. No man has fought in the IFL and then went on to win the UFC Championship.

          Affliction…. No man has fought in Affliction and then went on to win the UFC Championship.

          EliteXC…. No man has fought in EliteXC and then went on to win the UFC Championship.

          Strikeforce…. Only one man has ever fought in Strikeforce and then gone on to win a UFC Championship…. That is Cain Velasquez…. His very first MMA fight was in Strikeforce and then he moved on.

          As a side note…. No man has ever lost on TUF and then won a UFC Championship. So keep that in mind when you watch that show and start to even remotely care about the rest of the losers….

          I am sure at some point, somebody from maybe Strikeforce or even Bellator will win a UFC Title. It is bound to happen eventually just from a pure probability standpoint. But when you think of the number of fighters who competed in those organizations…. And all they have turned into a UFC Champion was a 1 time first fighter…. It shows that the UFC really has the best eyes for the best talent time and time again. It’s not even debatable.

          The only other organization in the history of the sport that created top tier talent beyond a fluke was Pride FC.


          0-4 record from Strikeforce is… Diaz(2X), Melendez, & Shields. Silva will easily be #5. I mean at what point do fans finally admit that Joe Silva and his former assistant (forget his name) are the only truly capable men in the sport who can spot championship level talent…..

        • The Gaijin says:

          So basically one UFC fighter – the most dominant and best p4p in the history of the sport – has 2 wins in championship fights against Strikeforce guys and that’s your evidence?

          Ben Henderson has the other two wins and he was a WEC guy through and through and the WEC LW’s are absolutely NOT a part of the “Zuffa talent” machine. So genius analysis there and a total skewing of your data to prove your argument.

          We haven’t even seen a HW fight yet – and let’s be serious, the Silva fight is a useless measure as he’s already lost to Velasquez and was a good “numbered” fight to draw. He wasn’t and isn’t even a top 3 HW fighter from SF. When/if Cormier or the new version of Werdum gets a shot then we could make a better judgment than one fighter from one division that’s cleaned EVERYONE out.

          LOLz at using IFL and EXC as any type of comparison. A large number of the top Affliction guys got absorbed into Strikeforce, so your argument collapses on itself there too since we still haven’t seen where the SF guys went…I don’t think any of them ended up winning belts in Strikeforce either.

        • The Gaijin says:

          Condit vs. Diaz. Duh.

          Forgot Nate was TUF.

        • nottheface says:

          I don’t know if I can give Silva that much credit as a talent scout when they had something like 5 times the roster space and 10 times the revenue as Strikeforce did. That does make it a lot easier to find and hold on to fighters.

          Also, I find it hard to believe that Silva’s eye for talent was so great that he recognized that Cain and JDS would be 1 and 2, while also failing to recognize, or worse not caring, that Cormier, Werdum, Bigfoot, and Reem would be the next 4 HWS in the UFC. And Cormier perhaps only because he refuses to fight Cain.

          It’s also hard to believe that his ability to judge talent was so great that he could have foreseen that Melendez would have lost a very close and contentious decision, while also being sure that neither Gil or Josh would have won the UFC belt over the last few years if they’d been in the promotion.

        • The Gaijin says:

          And my obvious brainfart aside – basically there’s been one division that accounts for 75% of the “stats” and 2 fighters being involved in each of those 3 fights. I don’t think we’re really running into cold, hard proof based on what essentially boils down to GSP and Nick Diaz (whose one loss wasn’t necessarily that clear cut and the guy he lost to got dominated by GSP anyways).

          Also, the lightweight division is pretty much dominated (at least rankings wise) by fighters that weren’t in the UFC 2 years ago (and were fighting in another “national” org) – Benson, Melendez, Pettis, Punk, Alvarez and now PAT HEALY just trucked a long time top 5-10 guy.


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