Three weeks later than it was supposed to happen, and with a new opponent in the Octagon to challenge him, Jon Jones was able to walk out of UFC 152 with his light heavyweight championship after defeating Vitor Belfort on Saturday night in Toronto.
Truth be told, this fight was supposed to be no contest. As popular as Belfort is with the crowd, and as uplifting as his journey to mixed martial arts is, he is not in the elite class of fighters. You could make the case he never really was.
Belfort's reputation is that of a front-runner. He shines in fights where he is able to execute his game plan without interruption, but if you throw a fighter at him who can lay a hand on him, he retreats and falls apart.
For a fighter like Belfort, Jones was the worst possible opponent. His long limbs and unique offensive attack make him a nightmare for anyone to go up against. He had a decided mental advantage going into the fight, and he proved it in this fight.
Plus, it is hard to bash Belfort too badly. He stepped up and took this fight when Lyoto Machida didn't want it. In this sport, if you have a chance to compete for a title, I don't know why you wouldn't take it. Even if you don't feel there is enough time to prepare, this is potentially a one-time opportunity.
Despite all the controversy surrounding UFC 151, Jones has not lost his status as one of the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. He might not be as popular as he once was with the crowd or management, but when he steps in the Octagon, exciting things tend to happen.
It will be interesting to see where the UFC goes next with Jones. He was supposed to fight Dan Henderson at UFC 151, so we shall see if the company decides to go back to that well, or if someone else will bump Hendo out of the mix for the next shot.
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