When Dan Henderson was hurt and pulled out of UFC 151, MMA turned into a bit of a soap opera, but the dust has settled. The best pound for pound fighter in the world and UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, will now face Vitor Belfort this Saturday at UFC 152. Let's take a closer look at these fighters, and then I'll make my fight pick. I'm confident I can continue my winning streak of fight picks!
Jon Jones has run through the who's who in the UFC's lightweight division. And I'm not just talking about picking up "W's"! Except for his fight against Rashad Evans and the disqualification against Matt Hamill where he was dominating, Jon Jones has finished off every opponent since UFC 100 back in July of 2009! He has an incredible overall finishing percentage of 81% including 8 KO/TKO's and 5 submissions.
Jon Jones has the athletic ability, the body type, and the coaches around him to continue to sharpen his already super effective skills. But, he's now on top of the world in the UFC and MMA, and there's always a big target on him every time he steps in the cage. Will he be able to handle the pressure?
He's also been so good that no fighter has even come close to hurting him. How will he react when in trouble? If someone wants to beat Jon Jones, they're going to have to take a big swing, go for the long pass, in other words, take a risk! Vitor Belfort might just be the man to do so!
Vitor Belfort was on a five fight winning streak before he ran into Anderson Silva's front kick at UFC 126 that knocked him out. Since that loss though, he's come back with two solid wins. He finished off Yoshihiro Akiyama with punches at UFC 133 and then submitted Anthony Johnson with a rear naked choke at UFC 142.
Belfort has great hand speed and excellent power. However, like everyone else that has fought Jon Jones, the question will be, can he get those hands on Jones’s chin? I don't think so! Jones is too smart, too long, and too well coached to let Belfort come inside and use his best weapon, his hands.
Look for Jones to pepper Belfort from the outside while shucking off any of Belfort's attempts to get inside. Once Jones gets comfortable dominating from the outside, look for him to go in for the finish! This fight won't go past the third round.
Check out the UFC 152 Extended Preview video: