Jon Jones defended his light-heavyweight belt for the fourth time on Saturday night against Vitor Belfort at UFC 152. After escaping an early armbar that looks to have caused significant damage, Jones attacked with kicks and elbows in a dominating win in which he submitted Belfort in the fourth round.
The win didn't create the same kind of buzz that other wins have caused for Jones. It was something so expected that it really doesn't seem like too big of a deal to many in the MMA community.
Where does this win rank among Bones' victories? Is it even in the top five?
If we were to place this win somewhere, it might fall between sixth and 10 on his win list. In fact, for the sake of debate, I'll go ahead and rank each of his UFC wins:
- Shogun Rua (UFC 128, won Championship)
- Rampage Jackson (UFC 135, second person to submit Jackson)
- Rashad Evans (UFC 145)
- Lyoto Machida (UFC 140, iconic image of him letting go of Machida's limp body)
- Brandon Vera (UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones)
- Stephan Bonnar (UFC 94)
- Ryan Bader (UFC 126)
- Vitor Belfort (UFC 152)
- Vladimir Matyushenko (UFC Live: Jones vs. Matyushenko)
- Andre Gusmao (UFC 87, Jones' debut)
- Jake O'Brien (UFC 100)
The reason why Belfort is ranked eighth is due to the expectations going into it. With Jones being such a huge favorite, it's hard to bump the win over Belfort over other wins such as Bader, Bonnar or Vera.
The seven fights above Belfort had some sort of significance to the win. Whether it was a highlight reel image or an opponent Jones beat to make a "he's for real" statement, it was something that his win against Belfort lacked.
Now, if we were to look at this from Belfort's perspective had he won, this may have been placed as the No. 1 win in the history of Belfort's UFC career. That's how much of a swing there is in comparing the expected outcome of this fight.
The climb to the top for Jones has been fast, exciting and sometimes tumultuous (recently). He is undeniably one of the best three fighters in the world and now has a resume complete of both current and former greats of the sport.
It's saying quite a bit for one's career when a win against Vitor Belfort isn't considered one of the seven best wins of your career.
Joe Chacon is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report and a staff writer for Operation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeChacon.
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