UFC 152 was a night filled with an interesting dichotomy of events. Many things went exactly as the fans expected them to but shocked them out of their seats at the exact same time. For instance, much of the MMA world expected “Bones” Jon Jones (17-1) to dominate the aging “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-10). He did, but not before the renowned striker locked in a deep Armbar from the bottom and did serious damage to the champion’s elbow and the nerves in his biceps. The UFC Flyweight Championship was expected to be a lightning fast, technical affair and it delivered despite the boos of some uneducated fans. However, the manner in which “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1) dismantled Joseph Benavidez (16-3) and out-wrestled the Alpha Male standout was a shock to even Johnson’s staunch supporters. “All-American” Brian Stann (12-5) was able to land some heavy leather on the supposedly glass jaw of “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-4), but the Brit was still successful in controlling the pace and winning convincingly. Perhaps the only fight that went exactly as expected in every way was “The Hammer” Matt Hamill’s (11-4) ho-hum decision victory against “The Hulk” Roger Hollett (13-4). The opening fight between Cub Swanson (18-5) and “Do Bronx” Charles Oliveira (16-3-1) was contested at a catchweight due to problems with Oliveira’s weight cut, but he seemed no worse for wear in the Octagon. Then Swanson shattered his orbital with a right hand and sent “Do Bronx” crashing to the mat and handing him his first loss at 145. Winning isn’t everything, especially in the UFC. Sometimes a winning fighter still fails to achieve his potential rewards and sometimes a loser advances his career more than he could have with a pair of back-to-back wins. To explore this, MMA Gospel has The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View @ 10:00pm ET)—
Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort: Jones via Submission (Americana), Round 4, 0:54
Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson: Johnson via Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46), Round 5, 5:00
Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann: Bisping via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Matt Hamill vs. Roger Hollett: Hamill via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Cub Swanson vs. Charles Oliveira: Swanson via KO (Punch), Round 1, 2:40
The UFC has had a tumultuous month riddled with injuries, fight cancellations, and the drama surrounding the demise of UFC 151. Through it all, though, the world’s top mixed martial arts promotion persevered, and tonight returns to action in Ontario, Toronto, Canada to present UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort to the eagerly awaiting fans in the Air Canada Centre and across the world watching via Pay-Per-View. Getting things started is WEC veteran Cub Swanson (17-5) facing off with the submission savvy “Do Bronx” Charles Oliveira (16-2) in a featherweight match-up. Next, TUF 3 contestant “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (10-4) returns from a year-long retirement to welcome Bellator transplant “The Hulk” Roger Hollett (13-3) to the Octagon. Anchoring the main card is a middleweight strikers’ duel between British bad boy “The Count” Michael Bisping (22-4) and bonafide US military hero “All-American” Brian Stann (12-4), with the winner hoping to have his name thrown into the title contention hat. The co-main event is quite literally one for the record books, as Joseph Benavidez (16-2) and “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1) square off the the inaugural UFC Flyweight Championship title. Capping off the night is the somewhat unexpected pairing of reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Bones” Jon Jones (16-1) and Old Guard fighter and former champ “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-9). Who will come out on top? Only time will tell, but for now the staff of MMA Gospel takes a stab at predicting who will reign victorious and who will be sent packing.
With the UFC being plagued by the injury bug as of late, many fights have been either postponed or canceled entirely, leaving fans of the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization starving for action. Much to the pleasure of MMA enthusiasts across the globe, Saturday night the UFC is back in full swing and looks to bring what could be one of the most exciting cards of the year including two title fights. The main event looks to showcase “Bones” Jon Jones (16-1) defending his 205lbs. division championship belt against a late replacement for the injured “Hendo” Dan Henderson (29-8): “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-9). In the co-main event fans will see the first ever UFC Flyweight Champion be crowned as Joseph Benavidez (16-2) takes on “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (15-2). Both these fights look to be high paced and the highlight of the main card, which also has a middle weight match-up that could possibly decide number one contender status as “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-4) takes on the heavy-handed “All-American” Brian Stann(12-4). Fans will also see the return of “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (11-4) as he looks to make a comeback, taking on UFC newcomer “The Hulk” Roger Hollet (13-3). Kicking off the main card, the always exciting Cub Swanson (17-5) takes on the dangerous “Do Bronx” Charles Oliveira (16-2). FX and Facebook will share the duties of bringing the undercard to viewers, however on the FX prelims look out for “The Kid” Jimy Hettes to be the one that makes a name for himself at UFC 152.
After an injury-laden, fight-swapping, month-long roller coaster ride for the UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion returns Saturday night with UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort. The Air Canada Centre in Ontario, Toronto, Canada plays host to the five-fight main card on Pay-Per-View which features some of the best the promotion has to offer, including returning veterans, title hopefuls, and current and former champions. Starting things off is a featherweight match-up between WEC alum Cub Swanson (17-5) and submission expert “Do Bronx” Charles Oliveira (16-2). “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (10-4) returns from a 13-month-long retirement to face Canadian 205er “The Hulk” Roger Hollett (13-3). The card-anchoring bout features British slugger “The Count” Michael Bisping (22-4) and war hero “All-American” Brian Stann (12-4) with both men looking to make a statement as to their deservingness of middleweight title contention. Co-main event honors go to former WEC bantamweights Joseph Benavidez (16-2) and “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1), who will be duking it out to earn the inaugural UFC Flyweight Championship. MMA prodigy and reigning 205lbs. champion “Bones” Jon Jones (16-1) is slated to make his highly anticipated fourth title defense against the UFC’s youngest tournament champion, “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-9), in a match-up that pits the new breed of mixed martial arts versus the Old Guard.
The UFC lands in Toronto, Ontario, Canada Saturday night to present a Pay-Per-View card worthy of praise as UFC 152 pits the youngest divisional champion of all time, “Bones” Jon Jones (16-1), who defends his belt for a fourth time, against “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-9), a man whose heavyweight tournament victory at just 19-years-old made him the youngest fighter ever to win a UFC title as well as the youngest fighter to ever score a UFC win. Opening the gate for the Canadian crowd is Jackson’s Submission mainstay Cub Swanson (17-5) against UFC staple “Do Bronx” Charles Oliveira (16-2). “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (10-4) will make his return against Bellator transplant “The Hulk” Roger Hollett (13-3), and “The Count” Michael Bisping (22-4) will anchor the card against “All-American” Brian Stann (12-4). The former main event will see the first UFC Flyweight Champion crowned. After winning their first-round matches, Joseph Benavidez (16-2) and “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1) have earned the right to fight in the co-main for the newly minted belt.
The UFC’s youngest champion “Bones” Jon Jones (16-1) returns Saturday night to defend his light heavyweight title against seasoned veteran “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-9) as the main event for UFC 152. Toronto, Ontario, Canada will further see the crowning of the first UFC Flyweight Champion when “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1) and Joseph Benavidez (16-2) meet in the co-main event. “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (10-4) returns from retirement for another go in the 205lbs. division as he welcomes native countryman “The Hulk” Roger Hollett (13-3) into the UFC. The Pay-Per-View card opens up with exciting featherweight action when WEC veteran Cub Swanson (17-5) takes on submission specialist “Do Bronx” Charles Oliveira (16-2) . The card’s anchor is worthy of headliner status, with middleweights “The Count” Michael Bisping (22-4) and “The All-American” Brian Stann (12-4) primed for battle.
UFC 152 is set to hit the big stage in Toronto, Ontario, Canada Saturday and, provided the champion doesn’t decide to decline yet another bout, “Bones” Jon Jones (16-1) will defend his light heavyweight crown against the youngest tournament champion in the history of the UFC, “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-9). Shoring up the main event is a flyweight affair between “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1) and Joseph Benavidez (16-2) that will decide both the winner of the UFC Flyweight Tournament and the first UFC Flyweight Champion of the World. Polarizing Brit “The Count” Michael Bisping (22-4) will continue his campaign for a middleweight title shot against fellow title hopeful “All-American” Brian Stann (12-4) to anchor the card, and Cub Swanson (17-5) will open the Pay-Per-View broadcast against “Do Bronx” Charles Oliveira (16-2). Playing the second fiddle in the night’s entertainment is a bout that will see wrestler “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (10-4) return from retirement to face UFC newcomer “The Hulk” Roger Hollett (13-3). “The Hammer” hasn’t won a bout since 2010 and hasn’t finished a fight since 2009 and has decided to return the the cage to rectify the situation. Hollett, however, has plans to spoil Hamill’s return and launch his UFC career on a win over a TUF stand-out.
On September 22 the UFC returns to Toronto, Ontario, Canada for UFC 152 at the AIR Canada Center. The headlining feature fight brings UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Bones” Jon Jones (16-1) to his fourth title defense against the former UFC Heavyweight Tournament Champion and former Light Heavyweight Champion, “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-9). Former WEC bantamweights Joseph Benavidez (16-2) and “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (15-2) fight for the first ever UFC flyweight title in the co-main event of the evening. England’s own ”The Count” Michael Bisping (22-4) takes on the familiar role of the villain against a real American hero and former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion “All-American” Brian Stann (12-4) in a middleweight bout that will send the winner into title contention talks. “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (10-4) returns from a 13-month retirement to face a late replacement in MFC veteran ”The Hulk” Roger Hollett (13-3) in a 205lbs. tilt that will surely produce fireworks for the Tornoto crowd. Starting off the night is a battle in the featherweight division as surging star Cub Swanson (17-5) looks for three consecutive wins as he faces “Do Bronx” Charles Oliveira (16-2) and his arsenal of dangerous submissions.
While the UFC has done an excellent job of promoting the animosity between training-partners-turned-foes for the upcoming title fight at UFC 145, there is more than meets the eye in the clash between UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Bones” Jon Jones (15-1) and former champion “Suga” Rashad Evans (17-1-1). There is much ado about the “betrayals” and various “hurt feelings” however more should be said about the caliber of the fighters and the technical skill that will have to be shown in the victor of this fight.
The UFC will cap off a dynamic 2011 calendar year at the MGM Grand Garden Arena December 30 with UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem. The titular marquee fight pits two of the biggest heavyweights against each other in a title eliminator as Brock Lesnar (5-2) returns from longstanding medical issues to battle former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem (35-11). Nate Diaz (14-7) will try to stop “The Cowboy” Donald Cerrone’s (17-3) emphatic rise up the lightweight ranks in a sure-fire thriller. Long-reigning #2 welterweight Jon Fitch (23-3-1) takes on Johny Hendricks (11-1) in a match that will propel either fighter into contention talk. Nam Phan (17-9) looks to put a win streak together as he faces young submission ace, “The Kid” Jimy Hettes (9-0). The lone light heavyweight tilt on this card gives up-and-comer “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (12-1) a stern test in grinding veteran “The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5). Should Alex pass this test, he will likely draw much stiffer competition on his way up the UFC ladder.
It was a tough night for Tito Ortiz. The self-proclaimed “People’s Champion” wasn’t able to keep his Cinderella Man story going against Rashad Evans and Dennis Hallman’s twig and berries upstaged him. We’ll get to the Hallman “Junk-in-a-sling” look in a little bit. For now, let’s keep it on Tito and Rashad. I was rooting for Tito for the first time ever. I had to respect the man for pulling off what I and a lot of other people thought was impossible when it was do or die time in his fight with Ryan Bader. Now I have nothing against Rashad but the story line of a guy going from begging to keep his job to title contention in the course of a month would’ve been kinda awesome. Love Tito or hate him, you gotta admit that’s some good narrative. Tito’s hands looked impressive in his fight with Ryan Bader so I thought maybe the iron chin attached to that massive cranium might give him a shot of KOing Rashad – especially if Rashad backed straight up like he did against Lyoto Machida. Of course this was a long shot. And while Tito put on an impressive show, Rashad, not showing an ounce of cage rust, was on his game and, let’s face it, his game is better and more well-rounded than Tito’s. What’s next for Tito? I dunno. He needs a win or his victory over Bader will be seen as a lucky fluke – fair or not. But for now, I think Tito’s earned himself some time off. Besides, that knee looked like it hurt like a muhfuh.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz: Evans via TKO (Knee to the Body and Punches), Round 2, 4:48
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama: Belfort via KO (Punches), Round 1, 1:52
Dennis Hallman vs. Brian Ebersole: Ebersole via TKO (Elbows), Round 1, 4:28
Jorge Rivera vs. Constantinos Philippou: Philippou via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Pyle: MacDonald via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 3:54
After an exciting night of fights at UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill, my friends and I quipped about how the originally intended title fight between ”The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) and “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0-1) would have been icing on the cake. Their second fight was one for the ages. Maynard showed exactly why he should be considered a serious contender and Edgar rallied back from the brink of defeat to show the heart of a champion. I assumed that a fight like that would gain the respect of MMA fans everywhere. What struck me absolutely dumb however, was the fact that the educated and respectful MMA fans in the room with me were completely unimpressed with Frankie Edgar. Are they talking about the same Frankie Edgar who defeated “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (16-7-2) twice? My friends simply said he was “not that good” and “lucky” and explained away his key victories. As Many MMA fans have echoed these very sentiments on internet forums across the globe so I felt compelled to present their arguments and offer the counter-points as well. Interestingly enough, it has been his title fights that have caused the most controversy in his career and the most often-used arguments against his legitimacy as top dog in UFC lightweight division. Perhaps Frankie is not the champ I thought he was? We’ll break down Frankie Edgar through the many factors that have dogged him since taking the belt.