Jon Jones overcame a tense moment in the first round before going on to defend his light heavyweight title for a fourth time by beating Vitor Belfort at UFC 152.
The event took place in front of a vocal crowd at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night in Toronto.
Jones came out of the gate fast putting Belfort on his back almost immediately.
But the Brazilian was able to snatch Jones’ left arm and begin straightening it out with an armbar before “Bones” lifted up and slammed his opponent a couple of times to get free. From there it was all ground and pound elbows from the champion.
Round two was déjà vu minus the armbar. Jones smothered Belfort and released a barrage of elbows that bloodied the title hopeful.
The ringside physician would check on the cut above Belfort’s right eye but he was deemed suitable to continue fighting.
He may not have wanted to as Jones continued his dominance into the third throwing a wide vary of strikes including high kicks and spinning elbows. Another takedown and Jones entered the championship rounds up three to none.
It would all come to a close in the fourth as Jones took the fight to the ground once more and where he finished the bout with an americanna arm lock submission to retain his title.
Demetrious Johnson made history by defeating Joseph Benavidez.
The fight started out rather slow for the 125-pounders as Johnson appeared to run away from most of Benavidez’s attempts to land strikes.
That said, Benavidez still managed to connect on a couple of big right hands and took the first two rounds by a razor-thin margin.
Under a spattering of boos throughout the early portion of the fight, Johnson seemed to turn up the tempo beginning in the third round. He started coming forward more often and won the round with a couple takedowns and some well-timed strikes.
The fourth round clearly delivered the most exciting moments of the bout.
Benavidez appeared to rock Johnson with a right hook and swarmed in for the kill. They wound up on the ground where Benavidez locked in a guillotine but couldn’t force a submission.
In the latter stages of the round Johnson stormed back securing multiple takedowns evening the fight in the process and making the final five minutes for all the marbles.
“Mighty Mouse” dominated that deciding round by taking down Benavidez no less than three times. It appeared to be a 48-47 win for Johnson but the first four rounds were so close the judges could have gone any direction with it.
Johnson def. Benavidez via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46).
Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann
These two middleweight contenders offset each other in the stand-up department in the early going of the first round.
Bisping shot in for a couple takedowns but Stann managed to stuff them. The round was up for grabs until the last 15 seconds when Stann landed a bomb of a right hand that visibly shook up the Brit.
In the second, Bisping got Stann against the fence and managed to pick him up over his head and slam him on his back.
Stann would eventually reverse positions on the ground and end up on the top utilising some of the ground and pound that he stopped Alessio Sakara with in April.
The fight would wind up back on the feet until Bisping scored another takedown to secure the round and tie things up heading into the final frame.
The deciding five minutes looked a lot like the second round as Bisping was able to score a couple of takedowns again. Stann landed a couple of clean shots in the stand-up but his failure to keep the fight a striking battle cost him the win.
Bisping def. Stann via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Matt Hamill vs. Roger Hollett
Hollett entered the Octagon looking to make Canadians a perfect 4-0 on the night in his UFC debut.
It didn’t go as he would have liked as Hamill took him down at will throughout the course of the fight. Hamill landed a ton of pittar patter punches while on top but the performance of both men garnered the only boos of the night to that point.
Hamill def. Hollett via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).
Charles Oliveira vs. Cub Swanson
After exchanging some shots Oliveira put Swanson on his butt with a beautiful takedown. He couldn’t keep him down long though and shortly after he ate a big right hand that dropped him following a delayed reaction. It was over right then and there as Swanson scored his third consecutive knockout victory.
Swanson def. Oliveira via TKO (punch) 2:40 into first round.