Hammond featherweight Kurt Holobaugh will make his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut this Saturday night, April 27, in Newark, N.J., on UFC 159, one of the biggest cards of the year.
Holobaugh moves back down to his natural weight class after fighting in the lightweight division facing lightweight journeyman Pat Healy, who is also on the undercard. Taking that fight on short notice against a guy like Healy on such a big stage should help prepare Holobaugh for this moment.
“My mind is set great, I got the goal set high, and I want to make a good impression on the UFC,” he said.
Holobaugh will face Ultimate Fighter alumnus Steven Siler, who is 3-1 in the UFC.
“From what I know about Siler, he’s very tough and comes to fight every time and this could be the fight of the night,” Holobaugh said.
That would be a great way to kick off the night, as Holobaugh and Siler are the very first fight on the card, and it airs live on facebook.com/UFC.
Check below for details on the rest of this card.
Main Event: Pay-Per-View
Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Chael Sonnen
Jon Jones – Rochester, N.Y., 6-4, 205 pounds, 17-1-0
Chael Sonnen, Milwaukie, Ore., 6-1, 205 pounds, 28-12-1
Chael Sonnen will look to take his success from coaching on “The Ultimate Fighter” into the octagon when he faces Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title. Sonnen dominated Jones in the tournament-style reality television show with both of his students making it to the championship bout.
Coaching is one thing, and doing it is another. Sonnen is really good at both, apparently. It won’t be that easy though facing off against the best light heavyweight in the world, Jon “Bones” Jones.
Jones, already on the verge of being one of the best light heavyweights ever, appears to be a huge favorite going into the bout. Sonnen will be making his light heavyweight debut in the UFC, which has called many to question the credibility of the UFC for putting someone in a championship fight without ever fighting in the division. If Sonnen puts on another great fight like he did in his last two championship fights, it would put the second guessers to bed for good.
Jones by Unanimous Decision
Michael “The Count” Bisping vs. Alan “The Talent” Belcher
Michael Bisping – Manchester, England, 6-2, 185 pounds, 24-5-0
Alan Belcher – Biloxi, Miss., 6-2, 185 pounds, 17-6-0
Some entertaining trash talking has been going on to say the least. Side bets have been tossed around of who will not only win the fight, but who will finish who in what round. The pre-fight hype has referred to Johnny Cash tattoos, Union Jacks, Cincinnati Bengals, and Wallace Gilberry offering up his $300,000 Rolls-Royce to get in on the action. I’m still not sure how Gilberry got involved, but it’s more than normal pre-fight hype, that’s for sure.
With all the talk aside, the Biloxi native can fight, and it’s no secret that Bisping can back it up as well. This should be a great standup battle with two Top 10 middleweights throwing leather. These two are fine examples of mixed martial artists who have very little weaknesses in their game. Both men need this one badly, as a loss will set them out of reach of the title for quite some time and maybe for their careers.
Belcher by Unanimous Decision
Roy “The Big Country” Nelson vs. Cheick Kongo
Roy Nelson – Las Vegas, 6-0, 263 pounds, 19-7-0
Cheick Kongo – Paris, 6-4, 240 pounds, 28-7-2
I think Joe Silva, UFC’s famed fight matchmaker, went out of his way to find the odd couple. Cheick Kongo looks like someone who should be on the front lines of a gladiator movie with a sword in hand, and then there’s Roy Nelson, who looks like he should be on the set of a “Duck Dynasty” remake. One thing that they do have in common is that they can both fight. Perhaps this could be the most anticipated bout on the card with both having vicious knockout power.
Nelson has some of the best one-shot knockout power in all of MMA. Kongo has put out the lights of opponents with one shot himself. Nelson has made a name for himself for knocking out opponent, but he also has a black belt in jiu-jitsu under famed trainer Renzo Gracie. There’s a possibility that Nelson might try and exploit Kongo’s ground game and pull out a submission win. Either way I can’t see this making it past the second round.
Nelson by Submission (Kimura)
Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis vs. Vinny “Pezao” Magalhaes
Phil Davis – Harrisburg, Pa., 6-2, 205 pounds, 10-1-0
Vinny Magalhaes – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 6-3, 205 pounds, 11-5-0
Davis by TKO (Strikes)
Jim Miller vs. Pat “Bam Bam” Healy
Jim Miller – Sparta, N.J. 5-8, 155 pounds, 22-4-0
Pat Healy – Salem, Ore., 6-0, 155 pounds, 31-15-0
Miller by TKO (Strikes)
Live on FX
Bryan Caraway vs. Johnny “Brutal” Bedford
Gian Villante vs. Ovince St. Preux
Sara McMann vs. Sheila “The German Tank” Gaff
Rustam “Tiger” Khabilov vs. Yancy “Frisson” Medeiros
Live on facebook.com/ufc
Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia vs. Cody McKenzie
Nick “The Jersey Devil” Catone vs. James Head
Kurt Holobaugh vs. Steven “Super” Siler