UFC 152: Jones vs Belfort – What we learned
After UFC 151 was cancelled, the Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion had to deliver with UFC 152 in Toronto, Canada.
In the previous event, light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones wouldn’t accept Chael Sonnen as a late replacement, following an injury to Dan Henderson.
For UFC 152, the fighters came to fight, and the fans were treated to some big knockouts, submission finishes and bloody skirmishes.
In the main event, Jon Jones retained his UFC title with a fouth-round submission finish over former heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort.
Jones was under the pump midway through round one, when Belfort locked in a tight armbar with Jones’s arm popping, but the champ battled on.
Jon Jones is the real deal. He fought through to the fourth round with suspected nerve damage in his bicep before finishing off Belfort with an ‘Americana’ choke. He deserved the victory.
In the co-main event, Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson overcame Joseph Benavidez to claim the inaugural UFC flyweight title. Johnson’s speed was too much for Benavidez, who’s face resembled a person who had just been mugged.
The flyweights bring excitement. Whoever doesn’t like them can’t be true fans of MMA. The little guys may be the new kids on the block, but after just six months they have stolen the show with their speed and cardio.
The first bunch of flyweight fights back in March saw Benavidez knock out Urishitani, before Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall fought out a thrilling draw.
The trend continued at UFC 152, with Johnson and Benavidez putting on a show for the fans with the title on the line. Johnson dominated the fight, but Benavidez was close to finishing it on a couple of occasions, with the best chance coming in round four where Johnson was lucky to escape a tight guillotine choke.
Dana White said it perfectly at the post-fight press conference, “If you don’t like that flyweight fight, do me a favour and don’t buy another PPV. You’re a moron and I don’t want your money. I was horrified by the booing in the flyweight final.”
We also learned that Cub Swanson has iron fists.
He has been on a rampage through the featherweight division of late, and it continued on Saturday night with a huge knockout of Brazilian prospect Charles Oliveira, earning Swanson his second Knockout of the Night bonus in a row.
Swanson landed a stinging body shot to stun Oliveira, and an overhand right was all that was needed for the 28 year old to record his third straight knockout win, building on those over Ross Pearson and George Roop.
“I have a lot of confidence in my power, and one punch is all that I needed,” said Swanson post-fight.
While Swanson’s performances of late won’t put him directly into title contention, he has earned the right to fight some of the division’s top fighters, to give himself the chance of getting a rematch with José Aldo.
On a whole the promotion delivered, and whetted the appetite with a busy end of the year coming.