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UFC 139 Fight Card Breakdown: Stephan Bonnar Vs. Kyle Kingsbury

A comprehensive break-down, preview, and analysis of UFC 139's light heavyweight bout between Stephan Bonnar and Kyle Kingsbury. Nate Wilcox makes his prediction for the winner.

Photo by Esther Lin for <a href="" target="new">MMA Fighting</a>.
Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.

Light heavyweights Stephan Bonnar (13-7) and Kyle Kingsbury (11-2, 1 NC) meet at UFC 139 tonight in the promotion's first ever event in San Jose. The fight is expected to kick off the pay per view (PPV) broadcast.

Bonnar is best known for his legendary 2005 Ultimate Fighter Finale bout with Forrest Griffin that single-handedly triggered the UFC explosion in popularity. Since then he's had mixed success in the UFC, going 7-5, enduring a suspension for failing a steroid test in 2006 and battling numerous injuries. Nevertheless, the 34 year old is riding a 2 fight win streak into tonight's bout.

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Kingsbury is himself a veteran of the Ultimate Fighter reality show, having been an alternate on season 8 and doing well enough to win a UFC contract. He lost his UFC debut to Tom Lawlor at The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale but has reeled off 4 straight wins since then. He's also twice won the Fight of the Night bonus.

Bonnar is a blackbelt in both Taekwondo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, making for an entertaining fighting style that eschews the more common wrestle-boxing style. Kingsbury is a raw athlete and former collegiate football player whose training at the American Kickboxing Academy has polished his game. Bonnar should have the striking advantage at range, but watch for Kingsbury to try to win the fight in the clinch.

I expect Kingsbury to dominate early with some brutal clinch work but he'll likely fade in the later rounds. Look for Bonnar to win the fight but lose the decision.

Aspect Bonnar  Points Kingsbury Advantage
Range Fighting

Boxing Brawl-y Aspiring Journeyman Bonnar
Kickboxing TKD-y Basic Thai Bonnar
Wrestling Very Limited 1 So-so Kingsbury
Clinch Fighting        
Dirty Boxing Nasty 1 Hurtful Bonnar
Thai Clinch Decent 1 Dangerous Kingsbury
Throws/Trips Limited 1 Ok Kingsbury
Ground Fighting

Positional Control Good 1 Ok Bonnar
Ground and Pound Good 1 Strong Kingsbury
Submissions Very Good 1 Ok Bonnar
Conditioning Excellent 1 Tends To Fade Bonnar
Intangibles 3-5 When It Goes To Judges 3 Decision-Friendly Style Kingsbury
Overall Old Soldier 6/7 Grinder Kingsbury