Jon Jones maintained his hold on the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship on Saturday with a fourth-round submission win over Vitor Belfort in the main event of UFC 152.
Jones came into the fight as the heavy favorite and he dominated most of the fight. Jones did nearly get caught in an armbar in the early going, but escaped and controlled the fight from there. Jones used his grappling and elbows to bloody up Belfort, and in the fourth round, caught the challenger in an Americana for the victory.
Belfort deserves credit for his effort and taking the fight on short notice in a bigger weight class, but Jones is just the better man.
With Dan Henderson dealing with his injury, there is no clear contender for Jones in the 205-pound division. That champion is becoming as dominant in his class as Anderson Silva is at 185 pounds.
In the co-main event, Demetrious Johnson won the first ever UFC Flyweight Championship with a decision victory over Joseph Benavidez.
The fight had a fast pace and was very competitive, as expected. The difference in the bout was the array of leg kicks that Johnson landed on Benavidez. The kicks slowly wore down Benavidez and allowed Johnson to control the pace. Benavidez still did enough to earn the victory on one of the scorecards, but Johnson was the victor on the other two cards, and in the eyes of most of the fans.
Johnson now is the first 125-pound champion in the UFC. It will be interesting to see how this division grows in the near future with a thin roster of talent in the weight class.
In another big bout, middleweight Michael Bisping defeated Brian Stann by decision to improve his ranking in the 185-pound class.
Bisping was able to out-point Stann with his technical striking and wrestling ability. Bisping actually utilized some nice takedowns in the latter stages of the fight to neutralize Stann.
Looking at Bisping, his resume is pretty strong and it appears he deserves a title shot. He has never been given a crack at the gold but has steadily been near the top of the division for years.
In case you have been under a rock today, UFC 151 has been cancelled.
The short story is Dan Henderson injured his knee and couldn’t fight next Saturday, prompting the UFC to offer Jon Jones a replacement opponent of Chael Sonnen. Jones, after speaking with his team, declined to take the fight on such short notice.
So, the UFC, instead of finding a new main event, or just running with the card they setup sans the main event, decided to just axe the event altogether.
In the process, they completely threw the light heavyweight champion under the bus.
Normally, I am on Dana White’s side of things. He is a hot head, no doubt, but he usually tells it like it is.
However, blaming Jones for the canceling of an event is simply a convenient way to take the blame off of himself and the UFC.
First off, canceling an entire UFC event is a big deal. It impacts the fighters, the venue, the host city and those that would be working the event.
Many fighters rely on a small paycheck from fighting on the under card simply to make ends meet. Due to the UFC’s venom spewed at Jones, many of those fighters are now taking their anger and frustration out on the champion as well.
But, let’s all take a deep breath and take into consideration two things:
After a close first encounter, a second fight was deemed necessary.
After UFC 150, we may need a third.
Benson Henderson managed to retain his UFC Lightweight Championship over Frankie Edgar in the main event of Saturday’s card, as two judges saw him winning a 48-47 decision, while another saw Edgar winning 49-46.
Most MMA writers feel that Edgar actually did win the fight, but most will also agree that neither man really dominated the fight.
Both fighters had high moments, but Edgar took on less damage this time around and Henderson didn’t seem to get into the same flow as he did in their first meeting.
Still, Edgar has now lost twice in a row to Henderson, no matter how close. It will be hard for the UFC to grant Edgar another title fight, as they have already committed to giving Nate Diaz the next shot.
In the co-main event, Donald Cerrone KO’d Melvin Guillard in an exciting and quick contest.
Guillard actually landed a big punch to open the fight and looked to be on the verge of an upset, but Cerrone gathered himself, and a minute later, landed a kick and right hand combo that put Guillard out cold.
The win for Cerrone keeps him in the discussion of top lightweight contenders, as his lone loss in the UFC is to Diaz by decision. Guillard now falls back out of the top 10, as he has been finished in the first round in two of his last three fights.
For complete results for UFC 150, click on the jump.
You’ve got a pick at the end of the first round and want a #1 RB- Michael Turner or Marshawn Lynch?
Lots of talk surrounding Turner and that he may be “done”. There was a lull from week 11 to 15 when he had 1 TD and no game above 76 yards. But from weeks 1-10, and 17, he had 1,060 yards and 10 TD. He just turned 30, but only averaged 57 carries a year his 1st 4 years with the Chargers.
Remember a year ago Lynch was “done” too? The he went out and posted career highs in yards (1,204) and TD (12). Lynch is four years younger w/less wear and tear. But the recent DUI arrest may or may not warrant a suspension; we’ll know in August.
Turner or Lynch?
Paul Eide can be heard dispensing fantasy football advice every Friday AM during the NFL season on Jacksonville’s 930 AM “The Fox” at 8:00 EST. Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org
UFC 149 saw a new champion crowned, an interim champ that is.
Renan Barao pushed his winning streak to 29 fights by beating Urijah Faber via unanimous decision to win the UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship on Saturday night.
Barao made not have gotten the finish, but he decisively beat Faber thanks to his reach and his kicks. Each round he managed to out-point Faber and stay out of danger, leaving “The California Kid” puzzled throughout.
Barao certainly beat Faber in easier fashion than the actual champ, Dominick Cruz. It will be interesting to see if Cruz can find a way to stop the runaway train that is Barao. Barao may very well be the best 135-pounder in the world.
Faber has now lost his last five championship bouts, dating back to his time as a featherweight in the WEC. Though he is still highly competitive, he will likely not get another title fight anytime soon.
In the co-main event, Hector Lombard had a very unimpressive UFC debut.
The man considered to be a potential threat to Anderson Silva proved to be more of a threat to himself, as he was very tentative against Tim Boetsch. Neither man did much to impress, but two of the three judges believed that Boetsch did a little bit more, which earned him a split decision.
The poor showing from both men may open the door for Chris Weidman to earn the next middleweight title shot following his brutal KO win over Mark Munoz last week.
For complete results from UFC 149, check out the jump.