Jon Jones destroyed Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort to secure his fourth-consecutive title defense at UFC 152, and now, the young light heavyweight champion is set to take on former middleweight title challenger and trash-talking extraordinaire Chael Sonnen at UFC 159.
These facts, however, cannot stop Jones' most recent victim from issuing a challenge.
Belfort recently told MMAjunkie.com that he feels he "deserves" a rematch with Jones or Anderson Silva, and this claim is downright ridiculous.
While either one of these fights is an astronomical stretch for Belfort at this point in his career, the former is especially ludicrous in my eyes.
Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort II does not need to happen—not now, not ever—and here's why.
We get it, guys: Vitor Belfort almost secured a first-round armbar against Jones at UFC 152, and he gave Bones a bit of a boo boo in the process.
"Almost" doesn't win fights. Jones likely underestimated Belfort's capability off his back, and he let down his defense for a brief instance in that opening round.
Belfort, being an opportunistic, skilled professional fighter, tried to lock in an armbar but ultimately failed.
Yes, it was a scary moment for Bones' fans and his legacy, but he gutted it out, and such a scenario is highly unlikely to occur again inside the Octagon.
Jones vs. Belfort I qualifies as which one of these again?
Armbar attempt aside, Belfort mounted almost no offense in this fight, and he was constantly on his heels.
Jones obliterated him in all facets of the fight and snagged a nasty Americana in Round 4 to end The Phenom's misery.
If the past is any indication, the one-sided nature of this fight tells me a rematch is unnecessary.
Under the tutelage of Greg Jackson and company at Jackson MMA, Jones is only progressing as a fighter—and he's still just 25 years old.
Bones is not even fighting at his peak ability yet, and he will only continue to get better and better in the upcoming years.
We have seen evolution in his game with each title defense—whether it was his technical striking against Rashad Evans or his stifling ground-and-pound against Vitor Belfort—and we will continue to see new wrinkles and refined techniques as his career moves forward.
In addition, don't think for one second that Belfort's first-round near-victory did not grab Jones and Jackson's attention. I'm sure they have drilled submission defense incessantly since that moment, and Bones would not make the same mistake twice.
The first matchup was lopsided, a rematch would be an absolute beatdown.
Look, I don't think Chael Sonnen has much of a chance against Jon Jones at UFC 159 either, but I also didn't think Uncle Chael would pound Anderson Silva's brains in for five rounds at UFC 117, and I surely didn't think he would drop "The Spider" with strikes on two occasions in that same matchup.
MMA is a fickle sport, and to count out any fighter at any time is absurd.
Jones vs. Sonnen is pretty skewed on paper, but disregarding Sonnen's skill set is a dangerous thing to do.
Belfort talks about a rematch with Jones as if a UFC 159 victory over Sonnen is inevitable for the champ, and that is simply not the case.
Let us address the elephant in the room, shall we?
Vitor Belfort should not have fought Jon Jones at UFC 152 in the first place. In what universe does a rematch of an originally ridiculous matchup make any sense?
Belfort stepped in to fight Jones at UFC 152 by default.
Jones' UFC 151 opponent, Dan Henderson, bowed (awkwardly) out of their fight with a knee injury, and, after no replacement could be agreed upon on short notice, the card was canceled.
Following this debacle, Lyoto Machida turned down the opportunity to fight Jones for a second time at UFC 152, because he did not have time to prepare.
After all this, Belfort was left as the man who said, "I'll fight Jones," and the UFC liked his spirit, so they gifted him the opportunity after Jones agreed.
Belfort had not even fought at light heavyweight for five years at the time of this matchup, and he was on nobody's radar as a challenger at 205 (sounds an awful lot like Jones vs. Sonnen, eh?).
All things considered, this matchup was crazy the first time it was announced; why would we run it back?
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