UFC 152 took place tonight at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. In tonight’s main event, UFC light heavyweight champion overcame an early threat by Vitor Belfort to finish the fight via submission. In the co-main event, Demetrious Johnson outlasted Joe Benavidez to grab a split decision victory and the first ever UFC flyweight title. In other action, Michael Bisping, Matt Hamill, and Cub Swanson all proved victorious.
Jones Overcomes Early Trouble to Submit Belfort and Retain Title
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones overcame an early and dangerous armbar attempt from Vitor Belfort to retain his light heavyweight title. Jones controlled the fight in the stand up and utilized strong wrestling to keep a hold on his belt. Despite the injury to his right arm in the first, Jones kept throwing the with arm through out the fight and dropped Belfort with a brutal body kick in the third round. Belfort kept looking for the armbar but Jones gamely defended it.
In the fourth, Belfort came out looking to start out a big exchange but when Jones negated that attempt Belfort tired to pull guard but Jones passed into side control on the way down. Jones immediately moved to a mounted crucifix position and smoothly transitioned to a keylock that forced Belfort to tap.
The win marked the closest someone has ever come to finishing Jones but Jones overcame the early danger to earn his fourth straight title defense.
Johnson Edges Benavidez, Becomes Inaugural Flyweight Champion
The first UFC flyweight title left the Octagon around the waist of Demetrious Johnson after an extremely hard fought bout with Joseph Benavidez. Benavidez struggled to slow down Johnson throughout the fight as “Mighty Mouse” ducked in and out of range with ease. Johnson found himself in the most trouble in the forth round. Benavidez connected with a brutal right hand that dropped Johnson and Benavidez jumped into a tight mounted guillotine after a desperation shot by Johnson. “Mighty Mouse” held on though and nearly came back to win the round.
The fifth and final round was taken by Johnson as his speed and quickness were on display as he evaded Benavidez’s takedown attempts and landed slick counters to seal the fight in his favor. While it was a split decision victory, a win is a win as Johnson is the promotion’s first flyweight champion.
Bisping Defeats Stann
Michael Bisping inched closer to his elusive UFC title shot with a solid win over Brian Stann. Bisping controlled the majority of the fight with more accurate strikes and strong wrestling. Stann rocked Bisping hard in the first but was unable to finish as Bisping clinched to end the round. Stann showed improved initial takedown defense but could not stop the reshot and adjustments from Bisping enough in the later rounds. Bisping has now won five of his last six.
Hamill Controls Hollet
Matt Hamill made relatively easy work of Roger Hollet tonight in Toronto. Hamill took Hollet down in the first and set a record for significant strikes landed in round in the first. The effort appeared to exhaust Hamill however, and the rest of the fight took place at a very slow pace. Hamill never looked in trouble through out the entire three rounds of his first fight back from his short retirement.
Swanson Crushes Oliveira
Cub Swanson’s power proved too much for Charles Oliveira in tonight’s PPV opener. Oliveira looked solid in the opening frame before Swanson landed a blistering body shot that he tried to act like it did not hurt him. Swanson saw an opportunity and pounced with a feint to a massive overhand right. The shot connected flush and Oliveira staggered back for a minute before his body just gave out and he collapsed in a heap.
Main Card (PPV 10PM EST)
- Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Jon Jones (c) def. Vitor Belfort via submission (keylock) at 0:54 of Round 4
- Inaugural Flyweight Title Fight: Demetrious Johnson def. Joe Benavidez via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-47)
- Michael Bisping def. Brian Stann via unanimous decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)
- Matt Hamill def. Roger Hollet via unanimous decision (29-28,30-27,30-27)
- Cub Swanson def. Charles Oliveira via KO (punch) at 2:42 of Round 1
Preliminary Card (FX 8PM EST)
- Vinny Magalhaes def. Igor Pokrajac via submission (armbar) at 1:14 of Round 2
- T.J. Grant def. Evan Dunham via unanimous decision (29-28,30-27,29-28)
- Sean Pierson def. Lance Benoist via unanimous decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)
- Marcus Brimage def. Jim Hettes via unanimous decision (29-28,29-28,29-28)
Preliminary Card (Facebook 6:30PM EST)
- Seth Baczynski def. Simeon Thoresen via KO (punch) at 4:10 of Round 1
- Mitch Gagnon def. Walel Watson via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:09 of Round 1
- Kyle Noke def. Charlie Brenneman via TKO (strikes) at 0:45 of Round 1
Image courtesy of UFC.com