Jones vs Belfort: What's Left for Jon Jones at Light Heavyweight?

Kyle SymesCorrespondent IIISeptember 23, 2012

September 22, 2012; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Jon Jones defeats Vitor Belfort on this pin in the light heavyweight championship during UFC 152 at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Jon Jones retained his UFC Light Heavyweight title after surviving an early scare against Vitor Belfort. Jones responded like a champion should respond and dominated the remainder of the fight.

After the armbar scare, the fight played out much like a typical Jones fight. The champion was able to use his height and reach advantage while on the feet, using a variety of kicks to keep Belfort at bay. When the fight did go to the mat, Jones used his razor sharp elbows to batter the Brazilian.

It was just a matter of time before Jones secured the finish. He secured top control and at first looked to unleash a flurry of elbows just as his fight with Vladimir Matyushenko ended, but instead slapped on an Americana to get the tap out.

The performance showed why Jones is the best fighter in the world at 205 pounds. His detractors will say he's only dominant because of his reach but it's much more than that.

Yes Jones' freakish height gives him an advantage over everyone at 205 pounds but height and reach are useless if you don't know how to utilize them. Jones has figured out how to use his height and reach to perfection and nobody has figured out a way to negate the advantage.

There likely isn't anyone at 205 pounds who will do so either. Jones probably feels he has some unfinished business with Dan Henderson, but that may fall through if Henderson fails to defeat Lyoto Machida. Other than Henderson, the remaining top contenders are all men that Jones has defeated with ease.

That is except for one man, Chael Sonnen.

The former middleweight title challenger went on a full verbal assault of Jones during the cancellation of UFC 151 and is set to take on Forrest Griffin later this year. A win over Griffin isn't exactly what you would expect a future title challenger to present on their resume but with Sonnen's ability to sell a fight, you know Dana White won't hesitate to make it happen.

If Jones wants to find the big money fights, leaving the light heavyweight division behind is the only career move left for the champion. The Henderson and Sonnen fights are the only two challenges that remain for Jones to overcome.

I'm sure plenty of you will make the argument for Machida or Mauricio Rua to get another shot and those claims certainly hold merit. But when you consider that Jones doesn't want to fight Machida and made Rua look like an amateur, does the UFC even want to bother trying to promote either fight?

For Jones, the next title defense needs to come against either Henderson or Sonnen. After that it will be time for Jones to rumble with the big boys.