The odds-makers in Las Vegas may see the successful defense of Jon Jones’ light heavyweight title as a given but the UFC champion himself isn’t nearly as confident when it comes to the ease in beating opponent Vitor Belfort. While Jones has no doubt he can defeat Belfort at UFC 152, he knows victory is not a forgone conclusion considering the Brazilian’s reputation and past success.
“Vitor Belfort is a UFC original, a real, true legend. He has so much experience at so many different weight classes and I cannot underestimate him. He will have something planned for me, and I’ve prepared to react to anything he does,” explained Jones in an interview with the UFC.
Belfort has nearly twice as much experience inside the ring as Jones including a number of impressive knockouts such as those over Yoshihiro Akiyama, Rich Franklin, and Wanderlei Silva. Though “Bones” is willing to acknowledge the firepower in Belfort’s fists, he doesn't feel outclassed when it comes to comparing the two talented 205ers' stand-up skills.
“He’s a very powerful striker, but in this situation, I feel I am the more versatile striker in the fight,” he continued. “I won’t shy away from a striking battle just because he has a punch. He’s got a unique style and I enjoy matching up against guys like that. There are so many styles in MMA and, being the champion, you have to face all of them.”
Belfort and Jones will lock horns in the main event at this weekend’s UFC 152 lineup. Both will enter the bout with the momentum of consecutive wins in the rear-view mirror and a reputation for taking out top opponents, setting up a classic clash between old school and new.
PHOTO CREDIT - UFC