The Ultimate Fighting Championship came to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada tonight for UFC 152: “Jones vs Belfort.” The event featured a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between champion Jon “Bones” Jones and former titleholder Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort.
Also tonight, the inaugural UFC Flyweight Championship was up for grabs when Joseph Benavidez took on Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. In middleweight action, Michael “The Count” Bisping battled “All American” Brian Stann. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for tonight’s card.
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Jon “Bones” Jones vs Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort
Belfort opened the fight with a kick that grazed Jones’s head. Jones took him down and briefly struck from the top until Belfort locked on a tight armbar from the bottom. Jones slammed his way free, but was clearly in some danger. From the top, Jones landed elbows and he cut Belfort above the right eye.
Belfort threw elbows of his own and tried for another armbar. More elbows scored for Jones and Belfort continued to bleed from above the eye. Jones remained active with elbow strikes and tried to pass to side control as Belfort looked for a third armbar from the bottom. 10-9 Jones.
Belfort landed kicks and a left hook to the body in the second round. A spinning back elbow partially landed for Jones and Belfort fired back with a head kick and punches. Jones attempted a head kick of his own and Belfort just missed with an overhand left. A head kick grazed the top of Belfort’s head and Jones used a series of front kicks to the leg to keep Belfort at bay.
Jones missed with wild punches, but he landed a front kick to the face. A right hook over the top landed for Belfort and he pulled guard. Jones snuck in elbows and Belfort tried to set up an armbar. Jones peppered Belfort with occasional elbows and punches and Belfort countered with a triangle choke attempt just before the end of the round. 10-9 Jones.
Jones landed a head kick in round three and continued to kick at Belfort’s lead leg. Jones dropped Belfort with a side kick to the body and entered his guard on the ground. Jones landed elbows until Belfort kicked him off and stood up. A left hook from Jones was answered by one from Belfort. The fighters clinched and Belfort pulled guard again. Jones resumed elbowing from the top and he postured up with punches that missed. Jones passed to half-guard and landed elbows until Belfort regained guard. 10-9 Jones.
Belfort threw a head kick and a series of elbows in round four. He pulled guard, but Jones immediately transitioned to side control. Jones used elbows to set up a far-side keylock and Belfort was forced to submit.
Winner: Jon Jones by Submission (Keylock) at 0:54 of round four. He improves to 17-1-0 and remains the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
UFC Flyweight Championship
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs Joseph Benavidez
Quick punches were exchanged in close for much of the opening minute as the fighters battled for position against the cage. Benavidez landed a knee and Johnson broke away with a nice leg kick. Johnson countered a body kick with a right hand, but Benavidez answered with left and right hooks. Benavidez clinched briefly and just missed with a spinning backfist after the fighters separated.
Again, Benavidez closed the distance and pinned Johnson against the cage. Johnson escaped the clinch, but Benavidez continued to mix up his strikes with punches and kicks. A solid counter right hand scored for Johnson and he followed with knees. Johnson landed another right hook and avoided a kneebar attempt by punching from the top until the bell. Close opening round. 10-9 Johnson due to the superior counterstriking.
Round two began with both fighters throwing right hooks and each one connected. Hard punches were exchanged and Benavidez backed Johnson up to the cage with two lunging hooks. Benavidez countered a right hand with two body kicks and answered a leg kick with a left cross. Benavidez kicked at Johnson’s leg and landed a right hook.
Johnson avoided a takedown, but Benavidez landed leg kicks and punches. Johnson took his back and scored with a knee. Benavidez scrambled out and retook the centre of the cage. Benavidez landed one of his best punches of the fight and backed Johnson up. He swarmed with more punches and landed a big right hand. 10-9 Benavidez.
Benavidez rushed right in with a right hook to begin round three and flurried with more punches soon after. He missed with a flying body kick and tried for a takedown. Johnson stayed on his feet and both fighters landed body kicks. Benavidez began to bleed from near the left eye. Overhand rights landed for Benavidez and Johnson answered with jabs.
Benavidez landed a one-two and took Johnson down for a split second. He secured back control on the way up, but Johnson scrambled out and escaped. Benavidez landed more punches over the top and Johnson replied with a quick combination. Benavidez threw a knee to the body and Johnson fired back with a right cross. Another close round. 10-9 Benavidez.
Benavidez clinched momentarily in round four and Johnson broke away with a right hook. He landed another one soon after, but Benavidez floored him with a counter hook of his own. Benavidez locked on a guillotine choke on the ground and used it to move to mount. Johnson escaped the choke and immediately transitioned to a heel hook attempt. Benavidez had little difficulty in pulling his leg free and retook top position.
Benavidez tried to set up a North-South Choke from the top and Johnson used the opportunity to scramble to his feet. Benavidez threw a spinning back elbow and tried for a takedown, but wound up on the bottom. Benavidez stood and was cracked by a right hand. Both fighters landed knees and Benavidez backed away. Johnson took him down and landed a hard kick to the body on the way up. He took Benavidez down once more and landed elbows to the body. 10-9 Benavidez.
Johnson opened the action with a body kick in the final round and he used an impressive takedown to get the fight to the mat. Benavidez stood and was suplexed down. The fighters returned to their feet and Benavidez threw a body kick, which was answered by a right hand from Johnson. Benavidez landed a nice right cross and Johnson answered with a series of jabs.
Johnson took Benavidez down near the cage and landed a short right hand on the way up. A looping left connected for Benavidez, but Johnson punished him with a kick to the ribs as Benavidez tried for a takedown. Benavidez missed with a head kick attempt and Johnson clinched. He ducked under a spinning backfist and landed a knee. 10-9 Johnson.
Winner: Demetrious Johnson by Split Decision (49-46, 48-47, 47-48) after five rounds. He improves to 16-2-1 and becomes the first UFC Flyweight Champion.
Michael “The Count” Bisping vs “All American” Brian Stann
The fighters battled for position in the clinch for much of the opening minute until Bisping broke free and landed a right cross. He jabbed and Stann countered with a pair of overhand rights. Bisping stuck to his jab and tried for a takedown after a leg kick from Stann. Bisping could not get Stann down. Stann punched over the top and Bisping countered with an elbow.
A right cross landed for Bisping and Stann returned fire with a looping right. More punches were exchanged and both landed left hooks. Stann caught a kick and landed two of his own. His face began to swell under both eyes from Bisping’s jabs, but he rocked Bisping badly with a big right hook late in the round. 10-9 Stann.
The second round began with more jabs from Bisping. He shot in for a takedown and managed to slam Stann to the mat. From side control, Bisping tried to land short elbows, but Stann swept and punched from the top. Stann landed more punches and avoided a triangle choke. Bisping scrambled up and landed punches along the way.
Stann pushed Bisping away to create space and Bisping landed a short left hook. Bisping got the better of the exchanges and avoided an overhand right. Stann landed a leg kick and a lunging left. Bisping slammed him down again and once again landed on top in side control. He tried for a keylock and landed elbows in the dying seconds. 10-9 Bisping.
An exchange of leg kicks opened round three and Stann pushed forward with a three-punch combo. Only a left hook landed, but he followed with a solid leg kick. Bisping tried for a takedown and Stann defended well. A nice right hand scored for Bisping and he followed with stiff jabs. Bisping stayed a step ahead of Stann in the exchanges, but Stann connected with a counter right cross. Bisping looked for a takedown and Stann stayed on his feet.
Stann landed a knee in the clinch and Bisping backed away. Again, Stann stuffed a takedown, but Bisping kept him pinned against the fence. Stann broke away with a knee and a right hook. He landed a head kick, but Bisping immediately answered back with a one-two. Stann landed another right hook and Bisping finally took him down. Stann stood and landed a big left. He backed Bisping up with punches in the final five seconds. Close final round. 10-9 Bisping.
Winner: Michael Bisping by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 23-4-0.
Matt “The Hammer” Hamill vs Roger “The Hulk” Hollett
The opening round began slowly with neither fighter willing to commit to any sustained offence. Each landed occasional punches and Hamill appeared to be the one dictating the pace. After a combination, Hamill dumped Hollett to the mat against the cage and unloaded with left hands. Hollett covered up as Hamill punched away from the top. Hollett survived and finally worked back to his feet just before the end of the round. He landed a nice right hook to the body before the bell. 10-9 Hamill.
Hollett was more aggressive in the second round and threw lunging punches to varying degrees of success. He missed with two left hooks to the body, but landed a third and a hard knee. Hamill took Hollett down, but he was unable to do much damage before Hollett scrambled to his feet. The crowd booed the lack of action and Hollett missed with a spinning back kick. He landed leg kicks, but the pace slowed to a crawl. Hamill suplexed Hollett in the final seconds. 10-10.
After a brief exchange of punches, Hamill took Hollett down against the cage in round three and landed punches as Hollett turtled. Hollett tried to stand and Hamill continued to pepper him with right hands while pinning him down. Hollett eventually got to his feet and was promptly taken down again. Hamill landed a handful of punches from the top, but very little transpired and the fighters were stood up. Hamill took Hollet down once more and closed out the lacklustre fight on top. 10-9 Hamill.
Winner: Matt Hamill by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 11-4-0.
Cub Swanson vs Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira
Oliveira caught an early kick and scored a takedown. He landed punches and elbows from Swanson’s guard. Swanson defended well and the fighters returned to their feet. Swanson threw a one-two and floored Oliveira with a devastating right hand for the impressive knockout victory.
Winner: Cub Swanson by KO (Punch) at 2:40 of round one. He improves to 18-5-0.
(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)