UFC 152 Results: 10 Most Memorable Moments
Mercifully, UFC 152 ended a long lull in the UFC scheduled caused by the unfortunate cancelling of UFC 151. Not only did UFC 152 provide MMA addicts with much-needed violence, but it also featured two championship bouts and resulted in one of the more entertaining events of 2012.
Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones took to the cage for his fourth straight title defense in a bout against former UFC champion in Vitor Belfort. Additionally, the UFC crowned its first-ever flyweight titleholder through a fight between former bantamweight title contenders Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez.
The event also showcased important bouts between contenders in the middleweight and featherweight divisions, as Michael Bisping traded leather with Brian Stann and Cub Swanson squared off against Charles Oliveira.
Let's take a look at the UFC 152 happenings that stood out above the rest. These are the event's 10 most memorable moments.
Kyle Noke Rebounds in Welterweight Debut
After losing two straight fights at middleweight, Kyle Noke looked like a fighter who could make some serious noise at welterweight in his 170-pound debut against Charlie Brenneman.
Noke picked Brenneman apart quickly and dropped his opponent with a right cross less than one minute into the fight. A few more punches caused referee Dan Miragliotta to step in and call a halt to the fight, though it appeared Brenneman was still trying to grapple with Noke as the bout was stopped.
Whether it was an early stoppage or not, Noke looked excellent at welterweight. At 32 years old, Noke may be gearing up for the best chapter in his career.
Mitch Gagnon Gets the Canadian Crowd Going
Competing in front of his fellow Canadians at UFC 152, Mitch Gagnon was in search of his first UFC victory in a fight against Walel Watson.
After dropping Watson by countering a superman punch with a left hand, Gagnon followed his opponent to the ground and secured a rear-naked choke to earn his very first win inside the Octagon. In doing so, Gagnon got his compatriots in the audience onto their feet for what would continue to be a very exciting night of fights.
Seth Baczynski Wins Sixth Straight Fight
Since being released from the UFC after a June 2010 loss to Brad Tavares, Seth Baczynski has been on a roll and now owns a six-fight winning streak after picking up a victory over Simeon Thoreson on Saturday night.
Thoreson was out-landing Baczynski early in their UFC 152 fight. However, Baczynski took full advantage of an opportunity that presented itself by slipping a Thoreson punch and landing a brutal hook. Thoreson fell face-first to the canvas and was rendered unconscious for an extended period of time.
In the midst of a lengthy run of success, Baczynski appears ready for a big step up in competition.
T.J. Grant Bloodies Evan Dunham
A bout between two lightweight grapplers on the rise, T.J. Grant and Evan Dunham, turned into a bloody, pay-per-view-selling slugfest on the UFC 152 preliminary card.
Grant and Dunham engaged on their feet for the better part of three rounds on Saturday night. Though Dunham was able to secure takedowns towards the end of each round, he wasn't able to overcome the damage done by Grant in the earlier stages of each stanza.
In the second round, Grant landed a knee that opened a nasty gash on Dunham's forehead. Blood poured from Dunham's head through the rest of the fight and splashed all over the canvas with every strike Grant landed to his opponent's noggin.
Vinny Magalhaes Puts His Jiu-Jitsu on Display
After appearing on The Ultimate Fighter and losing to Ryan Bader in the contest's finals, Vinny Magalhaes was released from the UFC as a result of a following defeat at the hands of Eliot Marshall. Since then, Magalhaes stormed back with wins in seven of eight fights to earn a second chance inside the Octagon.
At UFC 152, Magalhaes made the most of that opportunity by utilizing his world-class jiu-jitsu to submit Igor Pokrajac with a beautifully executed armbar. Pokrajac made an ill-advised decision to take Magalhaes down early in the second round, and Magalhaes quickly attacked with his guard to pick up the UFC victory of his career.
The 28-year-old Brazilian can match just about any light heavyweight on the ground, so he could be a contender sometime in the future if he continues to improve his striking.
Cub Swanson Scores Delayed Knockout
Once knocked out by Jose Aldo with double flying knees, Cub Swanson is beginning to creep closer to a rematch with the featherweight champion.
Despite being taken down early in his fight with Charles Oliveira at UFC 152, Cub Swanson was able to escape quickly fire off damaging punches.
Swanson blasted Oliveira with a hook to the body that caused the Brazilian's hand to drop. With Oliveira's hands lowered, Swanson came over the top with a right hand to his opponent's temple. Oliveira stumbled backwards, paused and fell to the canvas in a heap.
Michael Bisping Bests Brian Stann
In a fight that some believed would have title implications, Michael Bisping edged Brian Stann by utilizing improved offensive wrestling. The Englishman also silenced some questions about his chin by eating a few heavy shots from Stann.
With his win over Stann, Bisping has only one loss in his past six fights, and that was a controversial defeat against Chael Sonnen. Some feel Bisping is deserving of a title shot due to his long tenure with the UFC and recent success, but there is a middleweight by the name of Chris Weidman who would contest that.
Because it seems Anderson Silva may not fight at middleweight for awhile, Bisping may find himself competing against the winner of a bout between Weidman and Tim Boetsch for the next 185-pound title shot against Silva.
Demetrious Johnson Becomes Flyweight Champion
It may not have been the barnburner many expected, but Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez did not deserve the boos they received in a technical five-round title fight.
Johnson utilized quick footwork and wrestling to earn himself a decision win that would put the flyweight title around his waist. With the division still developing, Johnson will forever be written into the history books as the first fighter to ever hold the 125-pound title.
Now, it's tough to say with certainty who will be next for Johnson, but it seems like a good bet that he will meet the winner of a fight between The Ultimate Fighter winner John Dodson and UFC newcomer Jussier da Silva.
Vitor Belfort Nearly Secures Armbar
Vitor Belfort was given little to no chance of beating light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 152. However, it didn't take Belfort long to put Jones in a worse position than the titleholder has ever been in during his MMA career.
The Brazilian clearly came into this fight with a game plan of attacking from his back, and he nearly caught Jones with an armbar one minute into the bout. Belfort utilized the fence to explode into the submission attempt, which injured Jones' arm to an extent that remains unknown, but the champion was able to fight through the pain and escape what would have been a monumental upset loss.
While Belfort couldn't finish the submission, the fact that he came so close to ending Jones' reign as light heavyweight champion earned the veteran loads of respect from the MMA community.
Jon Jones Defends Title for Fourth Time
While it wasn't as effortless as he probably hoped it would have been, Jon Jones found a way to escape early adversity to pick up a fourth consecutive light heavyweight title defense with a win over Vitor Belfort. Jones is now even with Chuck Liddell and Frank Shamrock for the most consecutive 205-pound championship defenses in UFC history.
Jones has made it clear that one of his primary goals is to surpass Tito Ortiz's record in that category. With a win in his next championship fight, Jones will tie Ortiz at five straight title defenses.
Though it's clear he's already on his way to becoming one of the best of all-time, the 25-year-old Jones has showed signs of being beatable in recent showings.
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