UFC 152 Preview: Can Vitor Belfort Upset Champion Jon Jones?

Jonathan Snowden@JESnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterSeptember 14, 2012

Vitor Belfort has battled every kind of fighter imaginable. He's been in the cage with strikers like Alistair Overeem, wrestlers like Randy Couture and submission specialists like Kazushi Sakuraba. But Vitor Belfort, for all his experience, has never fought anyone like Jon Jones.

The conventional wisdom is that Belfort will be able to control the striking phase of the fight. For all the talk of Vitor Belfort's boxing prowess, however, his boxing technique is pretty much nonexistent.

His entire striking game is built around charging forward and throwing his super-fast hands. When he wins, it's because of speed and strength, not any kind of boxing skill. If he can bully you into fleeing, especially if you back straight up, Belfort is capable of flattening anyone in the sport.

It's not a game that is likely to work well against Jon Jones. The champion possesses two skills that are kryptonite to Belfort—kicks from a distance and ability in the clinch.

Belfort has been beaten over and over again, even by wrestlers like Sakuraba, because of his complete inability to defend kicks, especially spinning back kicks and kicks to the body. Unfortunately for Belfort fans, those are both techniques Jones is pretty good at.

Belfort is also bad in the clinch. Against Randy Couture, whenever Belfort charged forward, Couture simply let him come. Then he'd grab him in the clinch, smack him around and dump him on the mat. If anything, Jones is even more dangerous with a similar strategy than Couture was.

There's always the famed puncher's chance. And Belfort, make no mistake, punches hard. But I don't see him getting the opportunity to hurt Jones. This fight isn't going long. I see Jones, stoppage, in the first round.

Disagree? What's your pick then, smarty pants? Let me know in the comments.