If you want to look at the positives surrounding Jones and his questionable decision-making as of late, then look no further than the main card that fans are going to be treated to:
- Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort
- Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson
- Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann
- Matt Hammill vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
- Cub Swanson vs. Charles Oliveira
On paper, I consider this to be a stacked card, so we can all thank Jones for rejecting Chael Sonnen and contributing to UFC 152—that's if you focus on the bright side of things.
There aren't very many people giving Belfort a chance to beat Jones. Jones is a huge Vegas favorite to win the fight and anybody who has watched these two guys fight over the last few years can see why. Belfort's strength is still his quick and powerful punches. It is hard to envision him getting anywhere near Jones, especially with the nearly 11" reach advantage "Bones" will have.
Let's say for our purpose here that Jones unleashes a spinning back-fist that Belfort ducks under. In the same beautiful motion, Belfort returns a counter uppercut that lands flush on Jones' chin and drops him. Belfort becomes the Light Heavyweight Champion and Jones exits the arena dejected and confused.
This may not be as bad for the UFC as many would initially think.
Belfort will continue to progress the popularity of the UFC through Brazil. "The Phenom" already has a huge fanbase in Brazil, but a win over Jones would do nothing but great things for the sport in his native country.
With a loss, the UFC may be able to rein in a little more of the control they appear to be losing in dealing with Jones. I don't know Jones on a personal level, but if you compare his actions from two years ago to how he goes about things today, it becomes evident his ego needs a reality check.
Every great athlete or sports team needs to become grounded after long periods of success.
If Jones loses the fight and the championship, he may also lose the chip on the shoulder he appears to be carrying around with him nowadays. The loss may humble him a bit, at least in the eyes of the fans.
The UFC and Jon Jones will both benefit from Jones losing the belt—temporarily. Perhaps they will regain the respect they had for each other and realize that they need each other to be successful for the years to come.
Joe Chacon is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a Staff Writer for Operation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.
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