Co-main event set for UFC 159

Updated: January 30, 2013, 3:46 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

A middleweight bout between Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher will serve as the co-main event for UFC 159 on April 27 in Newark, N.J.

UFC officials confirmed the 185-pound contest to ESPN.com. A light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen will headline the event.

Both fighters will look to get back into title contention following recent losses. Bisping (23-5) lost a guaranteed title shot against Anderson Silva when he suffered a second-round knockout loss to Vitor Belfort earlier this year.

The Brit had won five of his last six before the loss. Bisping holds an overall record of 13-5 in the Octagon. He has never fought for a UFC title.

Belcher (18-7) had also been a strong No. 1-contender candidate before dropping a unanimous decision to Yushin Okami at UFC 155 in December. The 28-year-old had put together a four-fight win streak ahead of the loss that included three first-round stoppages.

The UFC previously announced a lightweight bout between Jim Miller and Pat Healy and a light heavyweight contest between Phil Davis and Vinny Magalhaes for UFC 159, while a heavyweight bout between Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo has been targeted.