Jon Jones: What's Next for the UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Following UFC 152

Andrew BarrCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11:  UFC Fighter Jon Jones  arrives at the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones retained his belt at UFC 152—as oddsmakers all but guaranteed he would, giving the champ 13-1 odds—submitting UFC legend Vitor Belfort via submission in the fourth round.

It was yet another dominant performance from the young champion who controlled virtually the entire fight, the exception being when Belfort locked up an armbar in the first round.

The attempted submission is by far the closest we've seen someone come to defeating Jones in the UFC (exception: Matt Hamill's disqualification victory over Jones).

Apart from that little slip-up, Jones was able to keep Belfort at bay standing and bring the fight to the ground repeatedly, consistently landing effective ground-and-pound when he did so.

In the fourth, Jones passed to side-control, moved to a mounted crucifix position, and then locked up an Americana that forced Belfort to tap.

With the win, Jones has now defended his belt four times and is only one win away from tying the all-time record for defenses of his belt. The current record holder is Tito Ortiz.

So, what's next for Jon Jones?

First, we need to figure out if he's injured. That's was a deep armbar he got caught in and Jones was wearing a sling at the post-fight press conference.

If his arm isn't seriously injured, it's likely that we'll see Jones fight again soon, as has been the trend since he became champion.

The names being tossed around right now are Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida, with the two men possibly meeting in a title eliminator.

Another fight to pay attention to is Mauricio Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson. Gustafsson has been making waves at light heavyweight for a while now and if he beats Rua, there will be droves of people calling for him to get a crack at Jones.

These are all possibilities, but nothing is clear yet. We'll have to play the waiting game and see how things shape up.


Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a stand-up comedian. Check him out on Twitter @AndrewBarr8.