Is there any doubt that Jon Jones would have had an easier time beating Chael Sonnen than he ultimately had beating Vitor Belfort?
Look, before we jump into the top moments from UFC 152's main event, let's note that Jones was a heavy favorite over Belfort for a reason. Despite the fact that Belfort is a respected veteran, even in his prime, he was never on Jones’ level. Never. He wasn’t the first option to be in this fight and, despite Dana White’s ability to promote this as something remotely resembling a battle of equals, this was never that.
And yet, despite the fact that he was severely overmatched, Belfort managed to make a four-rounder out of this. He got his face bloodied up early, sure, but he also showed some serious craftiness when he strapped on that ridiculous armbar in the first round.
Mind you, that armbar, although it didn’t get Jones to tap out, did some serious damage. For the rest of the bout you could see Jones being a bit uneasy with his rights – and that alone was huge. When you can take away any of the weapons that a fighter of Jones’ caliber has, you give yourself a much better shot.
The better fighter won when it was all said and done, however, Belfort made it much closer than anyone really expected him to. For that he deserves credit.
Check out the fight highlights from Jones-Belfort below.
(Kudos FOX Sports)