UFC 159 Picks: Light Heavyweight Title Jon Jones (-925) vs. Chael Sonnen (+725)
Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Light Heavyweight Title: Jon Jones (-925) vs. Chael Sonnen (+725)
Fight Breakdown: The UFC light heavyweight championship is up for grabs in the main event of UFC 159 as titleholder Jon Jones takes on Chael Sonnen in a battle between TUF 17 coaches. Jones is currently a massive -925 favorite (bet $925 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbook, while the comeback on Sonnen is +725 (bet $100 to win $725).
Jones (17-1) is one of the most dominant fighters to ever step into the Octagon. Only 25 years of age, Jones has already defended his UFC light heavyweight belt four times since winning it two years ago from Mauricio "Shogun" Rua by taking out a murderer's row of opponents: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort. Jones is an incredibly rangy striker as his long limbs allow him to stay far away from his opponents, and he's rarely ever hit in fights. He also has exceptional takedowns, especially from the clinch, and his submission game is top notch. There are no holes in Jones' game and that lone loss on his record came as the result of a poor DQ call. It's possible Jones could be beat in MMA, but Sonnen won't be the guy to do it.
Sonnen (27-12-1) is moving up to the light heavyweight division and getting an immediate title shot after he coached opposite Jones on "The Ultimate Fighter." The 36-year-old last fought at UFC 148, where he lost via TKO to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and as such many are disputing his title shot. But even if you don't agree with it, Sonnen is getting his shot at the belt, and he certainly has a tall order in front of him in the form of Jones. Yes, Sonnen is one of the best wrestlers in all of mixed martial arts, but is he really going to be able to land the takedowns consistently on Jones throughout the course of five rounds? Probably not, and considering he has very little power to speak of, it's really hard to envision where Sonnen has any advantage in this fight.
Fight Prediction: Jones can win this fight any way he wants to, but considering his improvements on the ground and Sonnen's disastrous submission defence, I think Jones is going to find a sub and then finish Sonnen off via tapout. It could even be a "Submission of the Year" candidate.
Adam's Pick: Jones via submission (click for latest UFC 158 odds)
Adam's Recommended Play: Jones will win this fight so even at the heavy juice feel free to parlay him. However, the best bet is likely Jones inside the distance, which is currently hovering around -475, or, if you feel confident in one method, Jones via T/KO and Jones via submission are both paying + money. Bet accordingly, but whatever you do, do not waste your money on Sonnen.