UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort live updates
UFC 152 takes place in Toronto, one of the world’s top hotbeds for MMA. The event features three marquee bouts. The pay-per-view is headlined by a UFC light heavyweight title contest pitting champion Jon Jones and challenger Vitor Belfort. The first ever UFC flyweight champion will be crowned when Demetrious Johnson battles Joseph Benavidez. And in middleweight action, two of the division’s most high profile stars square off: Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann.
Cub Swanson vs. Charles Oliveira
Swanson was once a top featherweight contender before a 4-4 stretch from 2007-2011. Swanson then turned his career around with a pair of impressive wins over George Roop and Ross Pearson, setting up this important bout. Oliveira is considered one of the top prospects in the 145 pound division, with his only losses coming at 155 pounds to highly regarded contenders Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone.
Round 1. Swanson lands a nice left hook early but Oliveira responds by taking Swanson to the ground. He lands a few elbows from inside Swanson’s guard. Swanson scrambles out and gets back to his feet. Oliveira lands a nice knee and attempts to take Swanson back down but Swanson defends without trouble. Swanson lands a hard body punch and then an overhand punch to the head. Oliveira backs up a few steps and then collapses. The fight is called off. That was a strange finishing sequence following the hard blows by Swanson.
Winner: Cub Swanson, TKO, round 1.
Roger Hollett vs. Matt Hamill
Matt Hamill is a well known light heavyweight star with a wrestling background. His background as a deaf competitor led to a movie being made about his life. He retired following a loss to Alexander Gustafsson a year ago but came back for this fight. Hollett is a Canadian veteran making his UFC debut.
Round 1. Hamill aggressively crosses the cage right into Hollett’s range. Hamill immediately begins throwing lead punches from close range. Hollett answers with an overhand right that makes Hamill back away. Hamill returns into close distance, throwing mostly one punch at a time. Hollett is throwing very little in his own right. The crowd begins to boo the slow pacing of the round. Hamill is landing the better shots almost by default. Hamill grabs a single leg and takes Hollett down. Hamill lands a series of punches and Hollett just covers up. Hamill keeps punching to the side of the head with Hollett doing nothing but defending. Hollett finally stands back up with 10 seconds left in the round. Hollett lands a punch that cuts Hamill’s face and then a hard shot to the body to conclude the round. Up until then, it was a completely listless performance by Hollett. 10-9 Hamill.
Round 2. The fight resumes at a similar pace to the first round. Hamill throws sporadic punches with Hollett answering even more sporadically. Hamill then takes Hollett down 90 seconds in. Hamill lands a few punches and Hollett stands up a minute later. The crowd boos the rather glacial pace of the affair. Hamill is doing next to nothing but Hollett won’t answer back. Hamill takes down Hollett to close the round. 10-9 Hamill.
Round 3. Hollett brushes off a takedown attempt at the start of the round. Hamill goes for another takedown and gets Hollett down. Hamill holds Hollett down and lands some punches from the same position as round 1, with Hollett on all fours. Hollett rolls to his back and Hamill goes back to work from half guard. Hollett gets back up with two minutes left in the round but Hamill takes him right back down. They are stood up by the referee a minute later but Hamill takes Hollett back down and continues to land punches until the end of the round. 10-9 Hamill, 30-27 Hamill.
Winner: Hatt Hamill, unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann
Bisping is one of the UFC’s most colorful characters and best quotes. The Brit has been chasing a middleweight title shot for years and could be very close with a win in this bout. Stann is a former US Marine and war hero with strong standup and excellent knockout power.
Round 1. Stann immediately closes the distance and begins throwing power punches. The fighters clinch and end up against the cage where Bisping lands some knees to the body. They separate. Stann walks down Bisping with Bisping mixing in counters and circling away. Stann connects with a good straight right punch. Bisping throws a few jabs and goes for a takedown halfway through the round. Stann successfully blocks it and they end up back against the cage. They exchange heavy blows and separate. They trade hooks from close range with each man landing solid punches. Stann throws a few leg kicks and Bisping answers with a body kick. Stann is bleeding from the face. Bisping goes for a takedown. Stann blocks it and lands a heavy right punch that staggers Bisping. Luckily, it’s late in the round and Bisping holds on for the remaining few seconds. 10-9 Bisping.
Round 2. Bisping peppers Stann with jabs early and then goes for another takedown. He slams Stann down and is immediately in side control. Stann uses a beautiful sweep to take top position. Stann lands a few punches before Bisping gets back up. Bisping looks for a guillotine choke and then lands some punches and knees from very close range. Bisping backs away and starts working his jab again. He mixes in a few power punches as well while Stann throws a series of leg kicks. Stann keeps loading up power punches but Bisping moves out of the way. Bisping slams Stann down with another impressive takedown late in the round. Bisping works for an Americana as the round runs out. 10-9 Bisping.
Round 3. Bisping goes back to work with his jab and takes Stann down again. Bisping looks for a guillotine but Stann gets right back up. Bisping continues to pepper Stann with the jab, while Stann relies heavily on his leg kicks. Bisping goes for another takedown but has it blocked. Stann blocks another and they clinch against the cage. Bisping goes for another takedown and gets it with 30 seconds left in the fight. Stann gets back up and they exchange punches to close the fight. 10-9 Bisping, 30-27 Bisping.
Winner: Michael Bisping, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
UFC Flyweight Title: Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson
Johnson and Benavidez were considered upper echelon but undersized 135 pound fighters, making them naturals for the establishment of a 125 pound weight class. Benavidez has defeated every opponent he has faced except bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and possesses excellent all around skills. Johnson is one of the quickest fighters in the sport and uses that speed and his wrestling to control fighters and win fights.
Round 1. The fighters start at a quick pace, but neither man is able to land anything of note. Johnson repeatedly ducks out of the way of Benavidez’s combinations and avoids his takedown attempts. Benavidez is pushing the action but Johnson is completely negating anything he attempts. Johnson connects with a nice leg kick late in the round. Benavidez keeps lunging in and Johnson is able to counter well. Benavidez looks for a knee bar at the close of the round but doesn’t come close. Nobody accomplished anything that round. 10-9 Johnson.
Round 2. Benavidez lands a knee to the body and clinches early. Johnson brushes him off and avoids the takedown attempt. Benavidez lands a right hook. Johnson continues to throw neat leg kicks. Benavidez throws back to back hooks and clinches again. Johnson moves out of the way. Benavidez connects with another solid hook. At the halfway point, this has been a much better round for Benavidez. Benavidez looks for another takedown but Johnson blocks it easily and lands a few punches. Johnson clinches and lands a knee with a minute left in the round. Benavidez connects with a few straight punches to Johnson. 10-9 Benavidez.
Round 3. Benavidez charges forward with a few punches and misses a kick. Benavidez is bleeding near his left eye. Johnson catches a kick and for a moment looks for a takedown. He lets it go. The crowd begins to boo. Benavidez finally gets a takedown but Johnson stands back up immediately. They exchange punches and kicks at the close of the round as the crowd lightly boos. 10-9 Johnson.
Round 4. Benavidez lands a right hand and Johnson goes down. Benavidez looks for a guillotine from mount position. Johnson struggles to keep enough room to breathe. Benavidez finally lets it go. Johnson looks for a leg lock but Benavidez avoids that and takes top position. Benavidez has side control but Johnson stands back up. The fighters scramble to the ground with Johnson taking top position. They then get back up. Johnson lands a knee on separation. Johnson scores a takedown and moves into side control at the close of the round. 10-9 Benavidez, 38-38 going into the final round.
Round 5. Johnson takes Benavidez down a minute into the round. Benavidez gets up but Johnson slams him back down. Benavidez then stands right back up. Johnson gets another takedown a minute later but Benavidez is able to get back up pretty quickly again. They exchange punches and Johnson easily moves out of the way of a head kick attempt. Johnson shoots for another takedown. This time Benavidez blocks it. Benavidez misses a spinning back fist. Johnson goes for another takedown and it is again blocked. The crowd boos the end of the fight. 10-9 Johnson, 48-47 Johnson.
Winner: Demetrious Johnson, split decision (49-46, 47-48, 48-47).
UFC Light Heavyweight Title: Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort
Jon Jones has had one of the most impressive ascendances in the history of MMA. Osentisbly undefeated (he has one loss via DQ via a questionable referee call in a fight he was dominating), he has cleaned out the light heavyweight division in short order. Belfort is 7-1 in his last 8 fights but hasn’t fought at 205 pounds in 5 years. He possess great handspeed but has struggled against upper echelon opposition for most of his career.
Round 1. Jones crawls across the cage. Belfort kicks him as he gets up. The crowd chants “Vitor.” Jones shoots for a takedown 30 seconds in and gets it. Belfort rolls his hips and applies a tight armbar. Jones looks in extreme trouble. Jones slams Belfort down but Belfort maintains the armbar. Jones finally wiggles his arm out of danger. Belfort almost had the fight there. Jones drops a few elbows and cuts Belfort open. Belfort again looks for an armbar but doesn’t come close this time. Jones continues dropping down elbows on the badly bleeding Belfort. Blood is all around Belfort’s right eye in particular. Jones stands up and throws some shots from high above at the close of the round. 10-9 Jones. If not for the armbar, that would be a 10-8 round.
Round 2. Belfort throws a head kick at the start of the round. Jones throws a front kick like the one Anderson Silva used to knock out Belfort. It doesn’t land flushly. Jones goes for a spinning elbow but it doesn’t land well either. Jones throws a series of downward kicks to Belfort’s knee and thigh area. Jones swings with a pair of wild hooks but neither connects. Belfort is extremely inactive while Jones pushes the pace with a much greater quantity of blows. They clinch and Belfort pulls guard. Jones goes back to work with elbows. Belfort looks to lock up a triangle choke as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Jones.
Round 3. Jones begins throwing kicks to the leg, as he used to great effect in the second round. Jones lands a kick to the body and Belfort drops to the ground in pain. Jones follows him to the ground. Jones eventually loses interest and backs away. He allows Belfort to stand back up. Belfort’s face is a mess. Belfort moves forward with punches more aggressively than he has at any other point in the fight. They clinch with two minutes left in the round. They go to the ground with Jones once again on top. Jones places his forearm on the throat of Belfort and lands punches with the other hand. Jones works his way into half guard and lands more elbows to the head of Belfort. Belfort regains full guard as the round ends. 10-9 Jones.
Round 4. Belfort lands a head kick and begins throwing punches in rapid succession from close range. They tumble to the mat from the clinch. Jones takes a mounted crucifix position and applies a keylock for the submission.
Winner: Jon Jones, submission, round 4.
Jon Jones acknowledged that he felt a pop in his arm in the first round and thought the arm was going to break.
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