Jon ‘Bones’ Jones tops Vitor Belfort, retains UFC belt
Toronto, Canada (4E Sports) – Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones successfully defended his UFC belt for the fourth time after beating Vitor Belfort via a fourth-round submission at UFC 152 Saturday at Air Canada Center.
Jones earned his 17th win in 18 matches the hard way as he was caught by Belfort (21-10) in a tight armbar in the first round.
Despite being in a jam, Jones refused to tap and eventually worked his way out, but admitted later that he hyperextended his right elbow during the sequence.
“I’ve never had my arm popped like that before,” Jones said. “I felt it, but I worked too hard to give up. I honestly was waiting for it to break.
“It just felt numb. My brain is trained to throw it, so I threw it, but it didn’t feel powerful at all,” added Jones, who previously defended his belt against Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida and Quinton Jackson.
In the third round, Jones punished Belfort with a variety of hits, including a sidekick to the rib from which he never recovered.
“He caught me with a kick in the rib,” Belfort said. “I already had an injury in training. I was trying to work my jiu-jitsu and catch my breath but he was long and his pace was pretty well. That’s why he’s the champion.”
The loss snapped Belfort’s two-fight win streak.
Meanwhile, Demetrious Johnson claimed the UFC’s first flyweight belt via a split decision win over Joseph Benavidez. Judges scored the bout 49-46, 48-47 and 47-48.
In other matches, Michael Bisping (23-4) defeated Brian Stann (12-5) via unanimous decision while Matt Hamill (11-4) scored his first win in nearly two years after beating Roger Hollett (13-4) via unanimous decision.
Also victorious were Cub Swanson, Vinny Magalhaes, TJ Grant, Sean Pierson, Marcus Brimage, Seth Baczynski, Mitch Gagnon and Kyle Noke.