After the UFC 151 debacle just a few weeks ago, the UFC returns with a stacked card taking place in Toronto, Canada as UFC 152 features two title fights and a pivotal middleweigt bout.
The main event features reigning UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones defending his title against former UFC Light Heavyweight champion and heavyweight tournament champion Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort. In the co-main event, flyweight contenders Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson face off to become the first ever UFC Flyweight title and in a middleweight bout with serious title ramifications, Michael “The Count” Bisping meets “All-American” Brian Stann.
In September 1, UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones was supposed to enter the octagon against former PRIDE Champion Dan Henderson. With just a little over a week before the event, Henderson was forced to pull out of the fight due to an injury. Jones was offered a replacement fight against Chael Sonnen, but the champion declined to take the fight, stating that there was not enought time to prepare. Ultimately, Jones’ refusal to fight Sonnen led to the cancellation of UFC 151. Jones was then slated to fight Lyoto Machida, but Machida also turned the fight down, saying that he wanted a full fight camp to prepare for Jones. With Jones without an opponent for UFC 152, former champion Vitor Belfort called up Lorenzo Fertita and said he wanted to fight Jones, setting up this Sunday’s main event.
The UFC’s Light Heavyweight king since March of 2011, Jones has been on an unbelievable tear, going unbeaten since March of 2010 an in his last four fights has beaten four straight current or former champions in Shogun Rua, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, and Rashad Evans. His upcoming challenge, Vitor Belfort, will be the fifth former champion that he will be facing. Jones is currently 16-1 in his professional career, with his lone loss coming via disqualification due to illegal elbow strikes.
Considered as an MMA legend, Vitor Belfort has been in the game since 1996. In 1997, he made his UFC debut at the age of 19 and went on to become the UFC 12 Tournament Champion. In 2004, Belfort won the Light Heavyweight title against Randy Couture, only to lose it a few months later to the same man. After bouncing around in different promotions, Belfort made his way back to the UFC in 2009 and has since gone 3-1 with wins over Rich Franklin, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Anthony Johnson.
Will Jon Jones defeat his fifth straight former champion or will Belfort shock the world?
Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson Fight for First Ever Flyweight Title
In the co-main event, Joseph Benavidez meets Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in the UFC’s first ever Flyweight Title match.
Back in December of 2011, UFC President Dana White announced the creation of a flyweight division and title and the first ever champion would be decided via a four man tournament. Included in the tournament were current UFC standouts Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson as well as highly ranked flyweight newcomers Yasuhiro Urushitani and Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall. Benavidez and Johnson ended up defeating their respective opponents which setup their match for the Flyweight Title.
Joseph Benavidez has been a standout at bantamweight and even fought for the WEC title against current UFC Bantamweight king Dominick Cruz. Since losing to Cruz, Benavidez has gone 4-0 with his last three wins in the UFC. His last performance was against former Shooto Bantamweight Champion Yasuhiro Urushitani in the first round of the UFC’s Inaugural Flyweight Tournament. Benavidez defeated Urushitani via TKO 11 seconds into the second round, earning him a spot in the Flyweight Title fight.
Another standout at 135lbs, Demetrious Johnson was also a former title contender at bantamweight but decided to drop to 125lbs to join the Flyweight Tournament. In the first round of the tournament, Johnson met former Tachi Palace Fights Flyweight Champion Ian McCall. Johnson and McCall fought to a controversial decision which went in favor of Johnson but was later ruled as a draw and set up a rematch between the two. In their second meeting, Johnson dominated McCall for three rounds and earning the clear-cut unanimous decision win. This earned Johnson the spot opposite Benavidez in the flyweight title fight.
Can Joseph Benavidez become the UFC’s first ever Flyweight Champion or will Demetrious Johnson be the one to hold that claim?
Michael Bisping takes on Brian Stann in a Potential Number One Contender Bout
In a middleweight matchup, former Ultimate Fighter winner Michael “The Count” Bisping takes on “All-American” Brian Stann in a match with title ramifications.
Michael Bisping has been a short layoff, having fought last in January, another title contender bout against Chael Sonnen. Prior to that bout, Bisping went on an impressive four win stretch against Dan Miller, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Jorge Rivera, and Jason “Mayhem” Miller. A UFC veteran since 2006, Bisping has gone 12-4 as a light heavyweight and a middleweight. His upcoming challenge in Brian Stann could be one of his toughest opponents to date.
A former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion, Brian Stann made the move to the UFC back in 2009. After going 2-1 as a 205lber, Stann decided to drop down a weight class and test the waters at middleweight. Since then, Stann has been very successful, going 4-1 at 185 with all his wins coming via stoppage. In his last outing, Stann only needed two and a half minutes to dispose of dangerous boxer Alessio Sakara.
The winner of this bout could potentially be in the mix for the middleweight title.
Can Michael Bisping finally move another step closer to a title shot or will Brian Stann win impressively once again?
Returning Matt Hammill meets Roger Hollett, Cub Swanson takes on Charles Oliveira
Rounding out the main card will be a light heavyweight bout between a returning Matt “The Hammer” Hammill and Bellator vet Roger “The Hulk” Hollett and a featherweight bout between Cub Swanson and Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira.
After more than a year off, Matt Hammill comes out of retirement and enters the Octagon again. A UFC vet since 2006, Hammill has gone 9-4 inside the Octagon. His last two fights were losses against Rampage Jackson and Alexander Gustafsson. Prior to his last two losses, Hammill went on an impressive five fight win streak including a DQ win over current 205lb champion Jon Jones.
Serving as a late replacement for Vladimir Matyushenko, 13-3 Roger Hollett stepped up and took the fight. Hollett will be making his UFC debut riding a five fight win streak while fight for different promotions.
Will Matt Hammill make a successful comeback or will Roger Hollett win in front of his home country?
In the main card opener, featherweights Cub Swanson and Charles Oliveria face off.
A WEC veteran since 2007, Cub Swanson has been a household name among fans of the smaller weight classes. Swanson has faced some of the best names in the 145lb division including current champion Jose Aldo, former UFC champion Jens Pulver, and former title contender Chad Mendes. In his last two outings, Swanson defeated George Roop and Ultimate Fighter winner Ross Pearson both by 2nd round TKO.
Making his UFC debut as a lightweight back in 2010, many expected great things from submission ace Charles Oliveira. In his first two fights, Oliveira pulled off impressive submissions over Darren Elkins and Efrain Escudero. After going three fights without wins, Oliveira decided to drop down to 145 where he continued to win impressively by submission. In his last two bouts, Oliveira submitted Eric Wisely via a calf slicer and Jonathan Brookins via anaconda choke.
Can Cub Swanson pick up his third straight KO win or will Charles Oliveira pick up his third straight submission win?
UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort Full Fight Card
LWH Title: Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort
FLW Title: Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson
MW: Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann
LHW: Matt Hamill vs. Roger Hollett
FW: Charles Oliveira vs. Cub Swanson
LHW: Vinny Magalhaes vs. Igor Pokrajac
LW: Evan Dunham vs. T.J. Grant
WW: Sean Pierson vs. Lance Benoist
LW: Marcus Brimage vs. Jim Hettes
WW: Seth Baczynski vs. Simeon Thoresen
BW: Mitch Gagnon vs. Walel Watson
WW: Charlie Brenneman vs. Kyle Noke
Catch UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort this Sunday, September 23, 10:30 am only on Balls, Sky Cable Channel 34!