UFC 139 preview: Bonnar vs. Kingsbury
Stephan Bonnar (13-7) vs. Kyle Kingsbury (11-2)
"The Ultimate Fighter 1" finalist Bonnar is looking to turn his two-fight winning streak into a hat trick when he takes on the up-and-coming California-based Kingsbury.
Bonnar, 34, is coming off wins over Igor Pokrajac and Krzysztof Soszynski. After going 2-5 prior to his streak, Bonnar has successfully turned his career around in hopes of staying relevant in the rapidly evolving 205-pound weight class.
The taekwondo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt is content brawling with most opponents, which has also made him a favorite to watch amongst UFC fans. His April 2005 war with Forrest Griffin is often credited as a bout that helped skyrocket the popularity of mixed martial arts.
Kingsbury, 29, is on a four-fight winning tear. The American Kickboxing Academy member is surrounded by top fighters in the gym, which has paid off immensely as evidenced by his recent victories over Fabio Maldonado, Ricardo Romero and Jared Hamman.
A high school football player and wrestler, Kingsbury is an excellent athlete with solid fundamentals for the sport. His evolution since being submitted by Ryan Bader during his stint on "The Ultimate Fighter" is significant.
With that being said, Bonnar has far more experience competing against elite competition and possesses superior striking skills. If Bonnar shows up in top condition, he should engage Kingsbury in a spirited back and forth battle. The fight could ultimately go either way, but Bonnar's aggression should sway the judges.
Verdict: Bonnar via decision