UFC 152 Preview

It has been an interesting road for the UFC in the last month as there have been many changes to the promotion. The UFC did something that they have never done before as they were forced to cancel an event. UFC 151 was supposed to be a great fight card with the Light Heavyweight Title on the line in the main event. Then the challenger for that title, Dan Henderson, went down with an injury. In an attempt to save the card the UFC asked a number of fighters to fill in on 8 days notice. Only one was available to fight as Chael Sonnen asked for the fight despite only having 8 days to prepare. As the UFC began preparing for the new matchup the word came in from Jon Jones and his camp that he did not want to take the fight against Sonnen. So the fight card lost their biggest selling feature as the main event would not happen but instead of the UFC continuing on with the rest of the card they decided to cancel the entire event. It was a lesson it what can go wrong in the UFC when things cannot work out but it also was the fault of multiple people. The UFC showed that the amount of events they held was clearly creating less enticing events with nobody being able to take over as the main event at UFC 151. It also exposed a major issue in the UFC as an injury finally took a major toll on an event that could not be fixed. Then there is Jon Jones and his camp who did something that very few fighters in the UFC do, refuse a fight. Granted it was 8 days away but Jones had been training for months before this fight and the only thing that had changed was that Dan Henderson was a wrestler and Chael Sonnen is a Jiu Jitsu practitioner. Refusing a fight against an opponent that has had much less time to prepare is something that many fighters, especially champions who are the best of the best, do not do. It has been a tumultuous month for the UFC as they took a shot to their reputation and a rift was created between Dana White and one of the most marketable stars in the UFC. Still as the event was cancelled some fans did win as the Light Heavyweight Title fight got moved to the Toronto fight card at UFC 152. It was not the original fight or even the back-up fight in fact it was the third matchup that would become the new Main Event at UFC 152. It would be a matchup between an emerging legend and the man known as the Phenom as Jon Jones would defend his title against Vitor Belfort. The matchup is a good one despite the fact that Belfort only had a few weeks to prepare for the title match. He has been one of the best fighters in the UFC for years and his two belts are evidence of that but most of that was when he was in his 20s. Now at 35 Belfort is at the tail end of his comeback into the UFC as he rides a 3-1 record since returning to the UFC in 2009 and a two fight win streak since losing to Anderson Silva in 2011. Belfort has been in the game for a long time but his quick hands and relentless pace are still there and still make him a dangerous fighter. Meanwhile Jon Jones is the current UFC Light Heavyweight champion for a reason as he represents the newest dominant champion in the UFC. He is one of the most creative fighters in the UFC as he seems to find new ways to win every time he steps into the octagon. Jones is a well-rounded fighter who can submit or KO most fighters in the UFC at any given moment. He will take on Belfort in what Belfort hopes is a street fight that allows him to get into the pocket and go off on Jones. That will be what Jones is looking to prevent as he will likely look to the ground game where he is better than Belfort who has some BJJ but is much better standing. The fight will be a bit of a tough one for Belfort who will be on a short training regimen only accepting the fight a few weeks ago. Anyone fighting Jones is in tough but doing it without a full training camp makes it that much harder. Belfort could get lucky and find a shot if Jones lets him inside but if not Jones will dominate and earn the win via Submission in the second round.

The addition of the Light Heavyweight title bumped a very good fight from the main event as the UFC will crown their first ever Flyweight champion. It was a long road that was never supposed to end at UFC 152 after a four fighter tournament ended up going three fights. It was clear that Joseph Benavidez was a contender when earned a KO against Yasuhiro Urushitani in the first round of the tournament. Demetrious Johnson was another story though as his introduction into the new division was not as convincing. He took on the #1 ranked Flyweight in the world Ian McCall and fought to what was a win for him until the scorecards were added up after the fight. It then became a draw and both fighters were forced to go at it again for another shot at the title. This time Johnson looked to make no doubt about it as he went out and beat McCall in a convincing win earning him a spot in the title fight. The Flyweight division sees fighters that are somewhat similar yet extremely exciting to watch. The pace taken by all fighters in the division is so far ahead of any other division as they come forward and continue to move constantly. Both fighters have great conditioning and speed but one of the biggest difference could be the training partners. Joseph Benavidez is a member of Team Alpha Male led by Urijah Faber that produces the best lighter weight fighters. It will be a great and historic night in Toronto as the first ever Flyweight Champion is crowned in what should be a great fight but don’t blink or you will miss it. A good card got even better and the UFC is hoping that UFC 152 makes up for the canceled fight.

 

Fight Card:

Main Event:
Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort [Light Heavyweight Title] (PPV)

 

Co-Main Event:
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez [Flyweight Title] (PPV)

 

Main Card:
Michael “The Count” Bisping vs. Brian “All-American” Stann (PPV)

 

Matt “The Hammer” Hamill vs. Roger “The Hulk” Hollett (PPV)

 

Cub Swanson vs. Charles “Do Bronx” Oliviera (PPV)

 

Undercard:
Igor Pokrajac vs. Vinny “Pezao” Magalhaes (Sportsnet)

 

TJ Grant vs. Evan Dunham (Sportsnet)

 

Sean “The Punisher” Pierson vs. Lance Benoist (Sportsnet)

 

Jimy “The Kid” Hettes vs. Marcus “The Bama Beast” Brimage (Sportsnet)

 

Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski vs. Simeon “The Grin” Thoresen (Facebook)

 

Mitch Gagnon v.s Walel “The Gazelle” Watson (Facebook)

 

Kyle Noke vs. Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman (Facebook)

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