By Josh Reese
Toronto, Canada’s Air Canada Centre was the home for UFC 152 which drew a gate 16,800 fans for 1.9 million. The fans inside the arena were treated to two title fights, as well as penalty of really good fights, UFC 152 follows the non-card 151 which was supposed to be the title fight between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson. Due to Henderson’s injury the card was canceled and two fights were redistributed to the 152 card, Welterweight’s (170) Kyle Noke, Charlie Brenneman and the Light Heavyweight (205) championship between Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort. Jones’s match up with Belfort was an interesting journey, after the injury with Henderson Chael Sonnen was turned down by Jones, then Lyoto Machida and Shogun Rua both turned down Jones.
Needing a match up for Jones, Belfort went out of his way to make the fight happen so both fighters on short notice entered the Octagon. Jones was able to fight through a very tight armbar (might have nerve damage) was able to use his ground and pound and sharp elbows to soften the older Belfort. While on his back in the 4th round Jones was able to latch on to an arm and was able to twist it till Belfort was forced to tap. Jones was able to defend his belt for the fourth time while beating 5 straight former Light Heavyweight champions. Belfort on the other end is 1-4 in UFC title fights, and both fighters seem to be at a crossroad as there aren’t many people left for Jones to fight and nobody is sure were Belfort goes from here.
Before Jones and Belfort ended the night, the first ever Flyweight (125) was up for grabs, as Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson went back and forth as both fighters trading blows well in to the final round. Johnson outclassed Benavidez in speed and was able to avoid the power and big shots Benavidez can bring. The judges saw the fight 48-47 Benavidez and 48-47, 49-46 Johnson the score is not the tale of the fight Johnson was the better fighter by far in the title fight.
Michael Bisping moved in to title contention with has technical beating of Brian Stann, Bisping was able to use his classic boxing and well-timed takedowns to keep the powerful Stann off balance. Bisping more than earning the unanimous decision, during the post-fight press conference even Stann said he hopes Bisping gets a title shot. With the win the UFC has the option of putting on a fight that should have happened a while ago, Bisping deserves a shot at Silva.
After giving up MMA, Matt Hamill decided after a yearlong absence it was time to give it another go meeting newcomer Roger Hollett. Hamill showed no sign of ring rust handing a fairly one sided beat to the new comer, getting takedowns at will and breaking the Light Heavyweight record for significant stikes landed with some really good gournd and pound. The Boxer Hollett was no match for the Wesrtler Hamill who took home the decision.
The first fight of the Pay-per view main went as bad as expected for Charles Oliveira, after coming in overweight. Oliveira’s UFC 152 experience didn’t get any better as talented striker Cub Swanson landed a very clean KO that got the night started off right. Bonus winners included Jon Jones for submission of the night, Cub Swanson for knockout of the night and the FX prelim fight between TJ Grant and Evan Dunham received fight of the night with all four guys taking home an extra 65,000 dollars for there performances.