Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brought a light heavyweight title fight to its UFC 152: "Jones vs. Belfort" pay-per-view (PPV) event late last night (Sept. 22, 2012) from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
"Bones" put his 205-pound title on the line against "The Phenom" in a hastily arranged headliner that was a direct result of the UFC 151: "Jones vs. Henderson" fiasco that's been covered so often on this and every other mixed martial arts (MMA) website, I dare not even link back to it.
That was then. This is now.
While the former 185-pounder was expected to give Jones the fits in the stand-up, it was the ground game that provided the drama -- as well as the finish. In fact, Belfort almost scored an early armbar submission win when an overconfident champion dumped him on the mat to avoid a Brazilian bumrush.
The arm was locked and the elbow was hyper-extended, but it just wasn't enough.
That's because "Bones" was big enough and strong enough to elevate his opponent and send him crashing back down to the floor, causing Vitor's previously broken hand to lose its grip upon impact. Jones was then able to assume a dominant position and land his patented elbows, which immediately drew blood.
Not a bad start to round one.
Belfort would be afforded the opportunity to stand and bang in the second stanza, but his inability to get past the champ's insurmountable reach left him tentative and intermittent with his strikes. Any and all clinch work would result in the fight going south.
And Vitor's chances going right along with it.
Sure, he has "heart," or the ability to take punishment, whatever the kids are calling it these days, but when you strip away all the hype and all the emotion, you're invariably left with the bar-fight maxim that a good big man will always beat a good little one.
That's why we have weight classes.
Jones didn't do anything sensational to win this fight. Or, at least, he didn't do anything we haven't already seen. Nor did he need to. What was paramount in last night's title defense was doing exactly the same thing he's always done and that's use a gameplan that mirrors his physical abilities.
I think a good portion of MMA fans, including the ones that predicted a monumental upset in favor of Belfort, had to know, somewhere in the back of their minds, what we were going to end up with when the dust had settled and the smoke had cleared.
In the main event of UFC 152 in Toronto, a light heavyweight defeated a middleweight.
For complete results and blow-by-blow coverage of the UFC 152: "Jones vs. Belfort" event click here. For the UFC 152 post-fight press conference wrap up click here and to see who took home "Fight Night" bonuses click here.