UFC 159 results: 'Jones vs Sonnen' sideshow PPV hopefully the exception, not the trend


UFC 159 is fortunately over, but it could have been much worse because of one very important big toe, demonstrating that the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion must find a better balance between box office business and real main events moving forward.

My buddy "Big" Rick Robertson had a saying, "You can rub, and rub, and rub, but you can’t polish a turd."

That came to mind Saturday night (April 27, 2013) as the joke that was UFC 159, which took place at Prudential Center in Newark, N.j., concluded with Jon Jones dispatching a badly overmatched Chael Sonnen en route to a referee stoppage at 4:43 of the opening round (watch highlights here).

Keith Peterson’s intervention might have been a tad quick (or not) – from his voice, you get the feeling that he’s always this-close to taking a three-cigarette break – but, it merely delayed the inevitable. Except for one weird twist – literally.

Jones’ toe, which was broken in a freak happening before the finish, therefore avoiding the much larger promotional debacle of the champion losing his belt, via injury, in a fight he was dominating against a challenger who should’ve never been there in the first place.

And that, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, is a turd not even the talented Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White really can’t polish.

With this farce happily in the rear-view mirror, let’s hope UFC realizes the perils of selling its integrity short to sell tickets to fights that don’t pass the smell test. This was precisely that, for a few reasons that are much-hackneyed to fight game watchers, but merit review, nonetheless.

Sonnen provided a boost for the last season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17. He’d talk plenty of smack and hype the fight. And he certainly had the Q-rating to generate pay-per-view (PPV) buyers, if not necessarily backers at the betting window (he came in as an 8-1 favorite, which much higher than most challengers).

And now it’s done. And the UFC ought to be glad that, despite the aborted ending to a bout that surprised no one, it could have been far worse.

That being said, the lack of the loudmouth getting his comeuppance through just desserts was a fitting coda. After so much bluster and noise, Sonnen didn’t even get to go out with a bang, but instead a whimper, punctuated by the fact that if he’d lasted another 17 seconds, he might have won the title by injury default.

In a way, it’s fitting justice, because he probably feels even more ripped off than anyone who bought it. It’s the UFC’s job to protect its brand and its product. Last night was a case of poor judgment.

Let’s hope it doesn’t become a trend every time they need ratings, and put this kind of sideshow behind us for good.

Jason Probst can be reached at www.twitter.com/jasonprobst

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.

Join MMAmania.com

You must be a member of MMAmania.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMAmania.com. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.