As is often the way of things, the hastily-arranged fight between Vitor Belfort and Jon Jones proved to be a more exciting affair than the originally scheduled fight with Dan Henderson probably would have been.
Jones came very close to losing his title in the first round, with Belfort latching on a tight armbar. But the champion gritted his teeth and let the armbar do its damage; he didn’t tap and in the fourth round he was able to come back with an Americana submission of his own to retain the light-heavyweight belt.
Jones’ display of heart was matched by Belfort, who broke his hand in the first or second round and was forced to solider on through the pain. The UFC 152 headline fight proved both champion and challenger worthy of their positions and has done a lot to erase the bad blood that resulted from the UFC 151 cancellation.
Other main card action saw Demetrious Johnson become the first-ever UFC flyweight champion thanks to a split-decision win over Joseph Benavidez. The fight was light on action in places - albeit with a lot of movement - and wasn’t a crowd-pleaser.
In the middleweight division Michael Bisping took a unanimous decision win over Brian Stann to possibly lever himself into title contention. It wasn’t the total victory he hoped for though, as Stann was awarded one round by each of the judges. Was it enough to earn a title shot for the Brit at last?
Main Bouts (Live on PPV, 10:00PM ET)
-Jon Jones defeated Vitor Belfort by Submission (Kimura, 4th Round, 0:54)
-Demetrious Johnson defeated Joseph Benavidez by Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46)
-Michael Bisping defeated Brian Stann by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
-Matt Hamill defeated Roger Hollett by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
-Cub Swanson defeated Charles Oliveira by KO (Punches, 1st Round, 2:40)
Preliminary Bouts (Live on FX, 8:00 PM ET)
-Vinny Magalhaes defeated Igor Pokrajac by Submission (Armbar, 2nd Round, 1:14)
-T.J. Grant defeated Evan Dunham by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
-Sean Pierson defeated Lance Benoist by Unanimous Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)
-Marcus Brimage defeated Jimy Hettes by Unanimous Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)
Preliminary Bouts (Live on Facebook, 6:30 ET)
-Seth Baczynski defeated Simeon Thoresen by KO (Punch,1st Round, 4:10)
-Mitch Gagnon defeated Walel Watson by Submission (Rear-naked choke, 1st Round, 1:09)
-Kyle Noke defeated Charlie Brenneman by TKO (Strikes, 1st Round, 0:45)