UFC 152: Why Jon Jones Will Silence the Critics with Win over Vitor Belfort

Pete SchauerCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 21:  Jon Jones arrives for his light heavyweight title bout against Rashad Evans for UFC 145 at Philips Arena on April 21, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jon Jones is the most hated man in the UFC heading into his fight against Vitor Belfort in UFC 152 after the stunt he pulled in what was supposed to be UFC 151.

Jones was scheduled to fight Dan Henderson at UFC 151, but after Henderson pulled out of the fight, Jones unexpectedly refused to fight Chael Sonnen, Henderson's replacement, resulting in a war of words between Jones and UFC president Dana White.

While White has publicly stated he doesn't "hate" Jones, it's obvious he's upset and has a strong disliking for the man who ruined what was a highly anticipated fight.

Jones' cancellation propelled him into a fight with Belfort in Toronto, where he will have an opportunity to regain popularity among the MMA community.

According to ESPN's Frank McNeil, Jones believes winning this fight is the first step to moving past the UFC 151 debacle.

"I’m looking forward to putting on a great fight at UFC 152 and putting this past us. I’ve trained very hard for this Vitor Belfort fight, and I do believe that, with a good performance, I can help put this behind me." 

The 25-year-old fighter has accomplished a lot more in the octagon than he has relinquished outside of it, which is why his win against Belfort will silence his critics and allow him to continue his climb to the top of the UFC.

Lost in the shuffle of the cancellation of UFC 151 and the battle between Jones and White is the fight itself, in which Jones is believed to be a heavy favorite.

Belfort is a blitzkrieg fighter, which isn't going to work out in his favor, as Jones likes to remain patient and strike at the right time.

Belfort is known for an excellent combination of power and speed, but after gaining weight for this fight, the odds are that he's not going too look fast to Jones, whose last opponent was Rashad Evans.

A win for Jones on Saturday night should silence his critics and put the UFC 151 mess behind him.

Expect Jones to be patient but take advantage of any opening Belfort gives him. I'm guessing that this one goes three rounds at the most, but Jones will come out victorious and begin to clear his name among the UFC community.

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