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Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort booked for UFC 152 after Lyoto Machida turns down title shot

Photo of Vitor Belfort by Esther Lin/MMA Fighting.
Photo of Vitor Belfort by Esther Lin/MMA Fighting.

Yes, you read that headline correctly. No, we're not trolling you.

Lyoto Machida has opted to turn down a title shot against Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones at UFC 152 on Sept. 22, 2012, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. So former 205-pound champ Vitor Belfort has agreed to step in and fill the void.

That's according to, who brought word of the news just a short time ago.

Belfort was originally scheduled to take on Alan Belcher at UFC 153 on Oct. 13 in Brazil. Belcher will reportedly stay on the card and get a new opponent though there has been no indication yet as to who exactly that opponent will be.

Obviously, there are bigger fish to fry.

"The Phenom" gets this opportunity thanks to Dan Henderson suffering a knee injury that forced him to back out of UFC 151 on Sept. 1 in Las Vegas. Not long after, Jones was asked to fight Chael Sonnen on short notice and declined, forcing the promotion to cancel the "Sin City" event altogether.

That's when UFC President Dana White announced Jones would be fighting Machida in Toronto, though he and his trainer, Greg Jackson, both stated they would be open to the Sonnen fight on that date.

Now, both Machida and Sonnen are suddenly out of the picture and Belfort is the guy moving up in weight to get the title shot. What a wild and wacky story that will continue to grow as the days -- hell, minutes -- pass on. We'll keep you updated, Maniacs.

In the meantime, let's hear your thoughts on this latest development.

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