The past weekend’s UFC event produced some amazing moments. In particular Vitor Belfort’s near-armbar on Jon Jones was a moment that shocked the world and nearly produced one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history.
Jones was able to escape the armbar and retain his title with a fourth-round submission of his own, but there has been a suggestion in some quarters that his escape was made via illegal means. Jones lifted Belfort up and slammed him to the floor, trying to shake off the hold, but was it against the rules?
His supporters say not but his detractors say it was an illegal slam, also known as spiking. However, that was not the view of the referee at the time and nor is the view of Belfort’s countryman, former UFC fighter and now referee Carlos Barreto.
“The rule is very clear. A slam is not legal but under the rules of the Athletic Commissions Jones’ act was not a slam. A slam is characterized by the aggressor throwing the opponent with his head towards the ground, putting the back and the physical health at risk,” he explained to Fighters Only this week.
“Jones didn't crush Vitor's head on the floor, so that was not a slam according to the official rules.”
So, that’s cleared that up. Jones fans can sleep soundly knowing their man defended his title by legitimate means - although an argument about the ‘morality’ of his side-kicks to opponents’ knee joints still rages on. Latest to add his voice to the fray was Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson who this week said Jones’ habit of using the kicks means he “has no honor”.