Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort: What We Learned About Belfort
Everyone should give some major props to Vitor Belfort after UFC 152. After both Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua turned down the chance to rematch the champion, Belfort finally became the problem solver as he happily accepted a fight against Jon Jones.
Belfort came into the fight knowing the deck was stacked against him, and if he wanted to defeat Jones, the Brazilian would have to be close to perfect inside the Octagon. The miracle moment nearly happened as Belfort swung his hips around to secure a tight armbar. The fight was nearly over, but somehow, the champion persevered through the pain.
After that, it was virtually all Jones, but Belfort continued to press the action. It wasn't Belfort's best showing by any means and likely won't affect his standing in the middleweight division, but the old lion still showed a few new tricks in the UFC 152 main event.
Vitor Belfort Still Has It
After his loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 126, fans were left wondering where Belfort would go with his career. It seemed as if he'd be destined to be one of those veterans with a big name looking for the next "big-money" fight.
He still remained in the title picture, despite wins over less-than-stellar competition. Yes "The Phenom" had won two straight at 185 pounds, but when you look at the level of competition, Belfort was anything but a sure bet for a title run.
Stepping up to face Jones showed Belfort still has that love for competition, and his performance showed that he's still got some time left in the fight game. It may have been a one-sided affair in his contest with Jones, but Belfort proved he can take the punishment as well as dish it.
Vitor Belfort Is Prepared to Be More Than Just a KO Puncher
Whenever one discusses Belfort prior to a fight, the first item that comes up is his hand speed and power. There's no denying that Belfort hits like a mack truck and still has some of that awesome hand speed he displayed while becoming "The Phenom."
Yet, in his last few bouts, Belfort has shown he's more than just a one-trick pony. Against Anthony Johnson, Belfort used his submission game to secure the tapout and against Jones at UFC 152, he nearly finished the fight with an armbar inside the first round.
Belfort repeatedly attempted to pull guard which shows that he's more than comfortable using his ground game. It's been an area that has often been overlooked due to his striking prowess, but now, it appears Belfort's future opponents must be ready to grapple as well.
Vitor Belfort Is in Fact a Lion
Listening to any Belfort interview nowadays usually requires mentioning the word lion at least five times. It's become his catchphrase, if you will, as Belfort loves to describe himself as an old lion facing a younger lion inside the Octagon.
Sticking with the animal analogies, Belfort displayed at UFC 152 that he is in fact a lion in the cage. He challenged Jones like no one else has, coming within moments of getting a submission victory.
The Brazilian didn't seem to notice the fight got farther and farther away from Belfort as the minutes passed. He continually came forward to attack the champion and threw everything in his arsenal at Jones.
There's no shame in going down like Belfort did as he simply wasn't as good as Jones on this particular night. At least, he went out swinging which is more than what some of Jones' opponents can say.