Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to pay-per-view (PPV) for the fourth time this year on Saturday night (April 27, 2013) with UFC 159: "Jones vs. Sonnen," which goes down at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
A light heavyweight championship contest will serve as the featured bout of the evening in "The Garden State" as reigning champion Jon Jones puts his title on the line for the fifth time against rival and opposing coach from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17, Chael Sonnen.
Also on the card, two of the top middleweight contenders in the world will look to get back on the winning track after recent defeats as Michael Bisping takes on Alan Belcher in what should be a heated and emotional battle.
With the event just days away, let's take a few minutes to review some fight-related facts about UFC 159.
Check them out:
- Jones' seven-month, five-day layoff is the longest of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
- Sonnen is the tenth fighter in UFC history to fight for an undisputed title after a loss, joining Randy Couture (twice), Pedro Rizzo, Ken Shamrock, Andrei Arlovski, Mauricio Rua, Dan Henderson, B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar (twice) and Nick Diaz. Those fighters are 3-8 in those 11 bouts.
- Bisping's only career defeats come to fighters who have once held or competed for a UFC championship belt.
- Cheick Kongo holds the UFC heavyweight record for total fight time at two hours, 41 minutes and 23 seconds.
- Roy Nelson is 5-3 in his UFC career. All of his wins are by (technical) knockout, while all his losses are by unanimous decision.
- Jones can tie Tito Ortiz's record for the most title defences in UFC light heavyweight history at five.
- Sonnen competes in the light heavyweight division for the first time since a submission loss to Renato Sobral at UFC 55 on Oct. 7, 2005 -- a span of seven years, six months, 20 days and 20 fights.
- Phil Davis holds the light heavyweight record for least strikes absorbed per minute at 0.94.
- Vinny Magalhaes has finished his opponent by (technical) knockout or submission in all 10 of his professional wins.
- Jim Miller holds the UFC lightweight record for wins at 11.
- Pat Healy went 7-1 under the Strikeforce banner with a six-fight win-streak to close his tenure with the organization. Healy's only defeat in Strikeforce was to Josh Thomson.
- Jones will have an 11-inch reach advantage over Sonnen: 84.5" vs. 73.5"
- Bisping's 19th UFC fight will be the most of any winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show. He is currently tied with Diego Sanchez for most UFC victories by a TUF winner at 13 and is two behind Josh Koscheck's record for wins by a TUF competitor at 15.
- Steven Siler has submitted his opponent in 13 of his 21 professional victories, all via some form of choke. On the flip side, "Super" has been finished in nine of his 10 professional defeats.
- Jones' current eight-fight UFC win-streak is tied with Lyoto Machida for the longest in light heavyweight history.
- Sonnen lands 10.5 total strikes per minute, the second most in UFC history. He also only allows 1.15 significant strikes to land on him per minute, the third best ratio in UFC history.
- Kongo will compete in his 18th UFC bout, the second most in heavyweight history behind Frank Mir (21 UFC fights). The 37-year-old holds the second most wins in heavyweight history at 11, Mir leads with 14.
- Nelson is tied with six other fights for the second most "Knockout of the Night" bonuses in UFC history at three. Anderson Silva leads with six.
- Sara McMann (No. 6) vs. Sheila Gaff (No. 9) is the third female fight in UFC history and the first not to take place on a main card.
- Leonard Garcia has lost four-straight UFC fights and is 3-6-1 in his past 10 bouts overall. Five of those fights have ended in a split decision with Garcia going 3-2. The last time Garcia registered a non-split decision victory was Nov. 2008 -- a span of 4.5 years and 12 bouts.
- Cody McKenzie has yet to go to a decision in his 16-fight career. McKenzie's longest fight to date is nine minutes and 33 seconds.
- Jones can tie Junior dos Santos for the third longest win-streak in UFC history at nine. Royce Gracie and Georges St. Pierre are tied for second at 11 while Anderson Silva leads the category at 16.
- Sonnen has been submitted in eight of his 12 professional defeats. Overall, Sonnen has been finished by (technical) knockout or submission in 11 of his 12 professional defeats.
- Nick Catone is the only fighter to earn a UFC victory over No. 6 ranked middleweight Constantinos Philippou.
- Nine of the 10 professional defeats in the career of Johny Bedford are by submission. Eight in the first round.
- German-born Gaff is the first non-American female fighter to compete in the UFC. The 23-year-old has finished her opponent by first-round (technical) knockout or submission in all 10 of her professional victories.
- Yancy Medeiros fights for the first time since a knockout win over Gareth Joseph at Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Werdum" on June 26, 2010 -- a span of two years and 10 months.
- Jones has five career submission wins in the UFC, the most in light heavyweight history.
- Sonnen has only been taken down three times since 2009, a span of eight fights.
- Bisping has finished his opponent by (technical) knockout or submission in 18 of his 23 professional victories.
- Miller has the most submission attempts in UFC lightweight history with 29. He is second to Chris Lytle for most submission attempts overall in UFC history at 31.
- Healy will fight in the UFC for the first time since Aug. 2006 -- a span of six years, eight months and 10 days.
- Bisping has the most significant strikes landed in UFC middleweight history with 671. His 854 total significant strikes landed in his UFC career are the fourth most in UFC history behind Rich Franklin (856), Penn (858) and St. Pierre (1153).
- Kongo holds the UFC heavyweight record for total strikes landed at 1017.
- With a defeat at UFC 159, Garcia would become the second fighter in UFC history to lose five consecutive UFC bouts. Steve Cantwell is the other.
That's a wrap for this set of UFC facts. If you haven't already, be sure to check out some additional stats on champion Jones by reading his complete career stat sheet here.
Did you learn anything new/interesting? Do any of the facts change your perspective on Saturday night's fights?
Let us know below!
(Credit to Fight Metric and UFC for some of the stats)