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UFC 152 Preview: Jones vs Belfort

By Mike Dingess, UFC Blogger | CBSDFW.COM
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Over the next 3 UFC Pay Per Views we are going to get to see the top 3 pound for pound fighters in the world. Jon Jones, Anderson Silva and George St-Pierre will headline (in that order) the next 3 PPV events.

Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) gets to make his claim at the top spot first on Saturday night when he puts his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship on the line against former Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort (21-9 MMA, 10-5 UFC).

By now you probably know that Jon Jones turned down a fight with Chael Sonnen that lead to the cancellation of UFC 151 earlier this month.  Something that you might not know is that after Jones turned down Sonnen his fight was moved to UFC 152 this Saturday and he was still without an opponent.

Former Champions Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua both turned down a shot at Jones’ title before Vitor Belfort stepped up and requested the fight with Jones to set up one of the more interesting title matchups in recent UFC history.

THE CHALLENGER

Belfort has fought his last four fights in the UFC at middleweight (185lbs.) and he has won 3 of those 4 fights with the lone loss coming via matrix knockout by Anderson Silva.

Since that loss Belfort has rebounded with wins over Yoshihiro Akiyama and Anthony Johnson.

Belfort is a huge underdog in this fight and there are many reasons why he can’t beat Jon Jones.

The one thing that Belfort will definitely have to his advantage is his speed.  He may have the fastest hands in the history of the sport and they are a real threat to the champions reign.

The key for Belfort will be to do what no other fighter has been able to do and get inside on Jon Jones and avoid the 10.5 inch reach advantage that the champion will possess on Saturday night.

THE CHAMPION

Jon Jones had one quote just a few days after turning down the Sonnen fight that really changed the way that I viewed the champion’s decision.

“I take a lot of pride in the way I perform, and I want to put on the best performance possible every time I fight. I don’t want to go out there and just to win the fight. I want to go out there and dominate. I want to make it look effortless. I want it to be a beautiful thing” Jones told mmajunkie.com.

I thought about that for a second and then realized that Jon Jones is the only fighter that I have ever seen in MMA that has never been in trouble in a fight.  He has literally dominated every fighter that he has ever faced.  His lone loss came via disqualification after he hit Matt Hamill with illegal elbows in a fight that Jones was winning in devastating fashion.

Anderson Silva has been dropped by a couple Chael Sonnen punches, George St-Pierre has been tko’d by Matt Serra but Jon Jones has yet to be put in a bad spot inside the octagon.

Jones will have no excuse if he doesn’t dominate on Saturday night. He will be the bigger fighter, the more well-rounded fighter and he will have a 84.5 inch to 74 inch reach advantage over Belfort.

HOW IT’S GOING TO PLAY OUT

Jon Jones is way too much for Vitor Belfort to handle. A 10.5 inch reach advantage is almost unfair and I feel like Belfort will have to throw an all-out attack at Jones to even be able to get inside on the champion.

I look for Jones to sit back and wait for Belfort to over commit on an attack and put the challenger on his back.  Once Jones has Belfort on his back I don’t see how the much smaller challenger will be able to get back to his feet.

I predict a 2nd round TKO due to vicious ground and pound by the champion. I would love to say that we are going to see a real life Rocky IV on Saturday but I just don’t see how Jones makes the same mistakes that Ivan Drago did.

Check out the UFC 152 Post Fight Show with myself and Richard Hunter Saturday night on 105.3 THE FAN.

You can tweet anything MMA related to me @mmamiked or Richard @RichardHunter

Enjoy The Fights!

(© Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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