Jon Jones looks to put the drama of UFC 151 behind him by beating Vitor Belfort.
For Jon Jones UFC 152 couldn’t come any sooner. For weeks he has had to take the blunt of the blame for the cancellation of UFC 151, and has been scheduled to fight four different opponents over the last three weeks. With the event locked down, and no last minute injuries popping up (at least not yet) Jones will finally have his opportunity to remind UFC fans just how skilled he really is.
Let’s take a look at a few of the fights from the main card and make a few thoughts and predictions.
Jon Jones (-850) vs. Vitor Belfort (+575):
The Jon Jones betting line is one of the largest in UFC history, and it might get even bigger on fight night. Jones is fighting an older and smaller opponent that had only a few weeks to prepare for the fight-- it’s almost impossible that he loses. But, that’s the great thing about mixed martial arts, anything can happen. One well timed punch and the champ could be out of it.
Jones is the better fighter here, and should be able to easily out strike or out wrestle the challenger. Belfort’s only chance is to swarm the champion and catch him early with his trademark speed and lighting quick hands. If that does not happen within the first few minutes of the fight, Jones will overwhelm and brutalize the challenger into an early round stoppage. Prediction: Jones retains the title by a second round referee stoppage.
Michael Bisping (-175) vs. Brian Stann (+145):
This is a fantastic fight-- it could easily end up Fight of the Night. Bisping is the more technical striker, while Stann is the fighter with one punch knock out power. Bisping would like to turn this into a striking match and pick his opponent a part at a distance. Stann on the other hand wants a close the distance and get into a brawl.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bisping go for a few takedowns and try and test his BJJ against the Stann, who is a fish out of water once the fight hits the floor. But ultimately I see this fight staying standing and looking similar to Bisping’s fight with Dan Henderson. Meaning, Bisping will show a lot of movement while Stann will be looking for one big punch-- the question is, can Stann land it?
Prediction: Stann has the skills to win this fight, but Michael Bisping is too hungry for a title shot to lose this fight. Expect Bisping to look better than he ever has and get a third round stoppage.
Joseph Benavidez (-270) vs. Demetrious Johnson (+230):
Benavidez and Johnson are fighting to be the first ever UFC Flyweight Champion. The ‘little guys’ always have speed and ridiculous cardio, so expect a fast paced and entertaining fight between these two.
“Mighty Mouse” Johnson is a small guy, even for a 125 pounder, but has the skill to win this fight. Benavidez is going to have to fight smart, and pace himself against the speedy Johnson, if he is to become the new Flyweight champion. This fight will probably go the distance, but Benavidez has all the skills in his tool box to win. Look for Benavidez to become a break out star for the UFC. Prediction: Benavidez via decision.