Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Jon Jones (left) fights Rashad Evans in the main event and light heavyweight title bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
"Bones" seems to think so, as he told reporters at today's (Sept. 19, 2012) UFC 152 open workouts in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as the Light Heavyweight champion was getting his last few reps in ahead of his 205-pound title fight against "The Phenom" this weekend (Sept. 22, 2012).
Known for being a lethal stand-up specialist, Belfort -- who at one time possessed the fastest hands in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) (and perhaps he still does) -- is usually the one going into a fight with the striking advantage. Not this time, says Jones, who acknowledges Belfort may have the experience edge over him, but he has the better overall striking arsenal.
"Bones" makes his case after the jump (via MMA Weekly):
"Vitor Belfort is a UFC original, a real, true legend. He has so much experience at so many different weight classes and I cannot underestimate him. He's a very powerful striker, but in this situation, I feel I am the more versatile striker in the fight. I won't shy away from a striking battle just because he has a punch. He's got a unique style and I enjoy matching up against guys like that."
Many feel Jones is well on his way to clearing out the 205-pound weight class; however, he begs to differ:
"In no way have I ‘cleared out' the division. Everyone's style is a puzzle for me, and who knows which style I will have the most trouble with. I'm about to fight my fifth straight UFC champion - which I was told is a UFC record - and I'm very proud of fighting the best guy available in each of my fight. That's how you build a legacy in a sport."
Despite that comment, many believe in a few years, the young phenom will take his talents up to the Heavyweight division and test his resolve against much bigger and stronger foes.
It's really irrelevant to tally up who has the most knockout or technical (TKO) knockout victories under their belt, seeing as how Belfort has the most fights to his credit between the two. However, even though Jones has defeated four consecutive light heavyweight champions, he is apparently far from cleaning out the division he currently calls home.
For what it's worth, Jones has yet to prove he has the one-punch knockout power. He does carry with him, however, a bevy of tools that can finish the job in various ways. Specifically, his razor-sharp elbows, kicks and long arms that often give him a distinct reach advantage over his opponent.
Will they find their mark against Belfort come fight night? Or will Vitor show the reason he was considered to have the best hands in the sport during his prime?