UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort goes down this Saturday night from the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The event is headlined by a light heavyweight championship fight between Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort, however the main card is filled with a number of interesting match ups that are relevant in their respective divisions.
With the top three bouts of Jones vs. Belfort, Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson and Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann playing a huge role on the future of their respective weight classes, we break down what a win on Sept. 22 means for the six men carrying the UFC 152 fight card.
Unfortunately for Jon Jones, adding the name of a true middleweight in Vitor Belfort to his resume doesn’t really do much for his career. Sure, Belfort is a former title-holder at 205-pounds and likely a future Hall-of-Fame inductee, however, he is currently unranked at light heavyweight. The more impressive accomplishment for Jones would be that, should he defeat Belfort, his last five wins will have come over men who once held the UFC light heavyweight championship, a very rare feat.
A win for Jones on Saturday night means a lot more outside of the cage than it does inside of it. If “Bones” absolutely ragdolls Belfort as he should, all the controversy in his life from his DWI arrest a few months ago to his role in the cancellation of UFC 151 to his feud with UFC president Dana White will be forgotten.
One of the biggest underdog in the history of UFC championship fights, Vitor Belfort has the opportunity to shock the world by beating Jon Jones at UFC 152 and simultaneously flip the UFC light heavyweight division on its head. Belfort got his title shot after a series on unpredictable events and while he may not be the title challenger people wanted to face Jones, he’s one of few who stepped up to do it.
A win for Belfort at UFC 152 would be a career defining moment. After failing to capture UFC gold from Anderson Silva in Feb. 2011, Belfort has another chance at winning the UFC strap, an opportunity few fighters see in their careers. The Brazilian is a roughly 13-1 underdog in this fight, however, it doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of pulling out the win. If anyone has a punchers chance in any fight at any weight, it’s Vitor Belfort. Should Belfort pull off the victory, he would be on the right side of one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, would become the second ever two-time UFC light heavyweight champion, shatter the “unbeatable” aura around Jones and hit the reset button on the light heavyweight division, which at this point is stale in terms of challengers.
Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson
A win for the two fighters competing for the UFC flyweight championship in the co-main event at UFC 152 essentially means the same thing, that’s why they are listed together.
For Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson, their clash at UFC 152 means so much more than just winning and losing or walking away with a UFC title, it means a place in the record books. The world was built on people becoming the first to do something. Benavidez and Johnson battle for the chance to become the first flyweight champion in UFC history. The road to this fight started last March and after a series of ups and downs, the bout has finally come to fruition. There is a lot riding on this fight, most importantly the right to be the undisputed number one 125-pound fighter on the planet.
Since his loss to Chael Sonnen last January, Michael Bisping has been telling everyone who will listen that he deserves the next shot at the UFC middleweight championship. Will a win on Saturday night earn him one? Some say yes, some say no, others say it depends on the fashion in which this hypothetical victory occurs. Nevertheless, it is hard to argue Bisping is very close to the top of the division. However, the facts are the facts, and fact is Bisping lost his last fight against Sonnen, and a one-fight winning streak over Brian Stann shouldn’t earn anyone a title shot.
With that said, Bisping claims he has been informed that an impressive victory over Stann will give him a crack at the UFC middleweight championship. We all know that nothing is set in stone, though. Countless fighters have been promised title shots that fell through, so there are no guarantees in the world of MMA. Should Bisping defeat Stann, he will avoid losing two-straight fights for the first time in his career, he will add the name of a top-10 middleweight to his resume and will position himself very, very close to a title shot. It would be nice to see “The Count” fight in a true number one contenders bout should he win at UFC 152, but with all the cards the UFC puts on, you never know how certain situations will play out. Bisping may get the shot at the title with a win, but he must do just that first; win.
The “All-American” Brian Stann has a massive opportunity to jump forward in the middleweight division when he takes on Michael Bisping in one of UFC 152’s featured bouts. Only four men have ever defeated Bisping in his career (Rashad Evans, Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva & Chael Sonnen), and all four of those men held a world championship in a major organization at one point in their career. That gives Stann the chance to put himself is some elite company who can claim they hold a win over “The Count”.
A lot of people are making the argument that Stann has little chance of beating Bisping unless he can put fist to chin and connect with his heavy hands. While it is hard to make a strong argument against that point, UFC 152 is Stann’s chance to prove he is more than just a power puncher and has enough skill to beat an elite fighter such as Bisping. Moreover, the entire talk surround Bisping vs. Stann is that Bisping will get a title shot with a win at UFC 152. No one is talking about Stann. A win for the former WEC champion would essentially leap him into Bisping’s spot.