BEHIND THE SCENES MMA ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS
UFC 152 and the Future of Three Weight Classes
By Christopher ‘sLapDatSuCKa’ Jester
With all of the negative energy that surrounded the cancellation of UFC 151, the mixed martial arts community wanted to know just how the UFC as an organization would bounce back after that debacle. One of the biggest concerns was if UFC 152 could deliver and if anyone would be interested in the main event after Jon Jones’ original opponent, Dan Henderson had suffered an injury, leading to the cancellation of UFC 151. UFC 152 did more than deliver; it set the UFC back on track with the fans and opened up numerous options for its divisions.
So much hatred and animosity was pointed towards UFC light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones before this event due to the part he played in the cancellation of UFC 151. The main event offered a fighter who had a puncher’s chance of knocking out the champion in Vitor Belfort. There was a cult of fans who wanted to see Jones lose his title, and for a few moments they were likely on the edge of their seats as Belfort hyper-extended Jones’ arm with a textbook armbar in the first round. Their wishes did not come true though as Jones escaped the armbar and for the next few rounds dismantled and picked a part the older fighter until the fight was stopped when Jones submitted Belfort with an Americana.
Another dominant win by Jon Jones silenced some of his critics. With this victory, the champion can look past some of the negative media that has surrounded him but he will likely be out of action for a while as early reports state that he may have suffered nerve damage to the arm that was locked in Belfort’s armbar. Some time out of the Octagon would give the UFC the opportunity to determine a legitimate number one contender, barring any injuries. There are many fighters in the mix including Dan Henderson, Alexander Gustafson, Lyoto Machida, Shogun Rua, and more. With most of them tied up in fights in the near future, the light heavyweight division may soon crown a worthy number one contender to fight Jones in his return.
UFC 152 also made history with its first ever UFC flyweight title match. In a match between Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson, the UFC fans received a bout that proved that a speedy technical prowess can outlast power. Johnson kept the fight at his pace for most of the fight, staying on the outside and jumping in-and-out whenever he wanted to land a strike. This style match-up worked in Johnson’s favor as Benavidez looked to only land his powerful strikes trying knockout his opponent. While he came close, Johnson kept his composure and secured the title, becoming the UFC’s first-ever flyweight champion. Now that there is a champion, the flyweight division is officially in the mix. While they have put on great fights, now there is a goal to be achieved. With John Dodson and Jussier Formiga (de Silva) facing off on October 5th at UFC on FX 5, Johnson may soon find out who will challenge him in his first title defense, thus giving the flyweight division an injection of competitiveness and the attention it deserves.
Although middleweight champion Anderson Silva will be making a stop at the 205lb light heavyweight division against Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153, the middleweight division may have established another contender. Michael Bisping took a decision win over Brian Stann, but proved once again that he may be the most talented and underrated fighter on the UFC roster. After being caught late in the first round, Bisping came back in the next two rounds with stiff jabs and unrelenting takedowns. Although many of the other middleweight contenders are tied up, Bisping should take on the winner of Chris Weidman and Tim Boetsch to determine the middleweight division’s number one contender. There is time for this match-up to be made as Anderson Silva still wants to take on Georges St. Pierre in a superfight regardless if the welterweight champion defends his title against Carlos Condit or not. So there is time for this pivotal match-up to be made so that a true contender is crowned.
The UFC may have suffered a lot of backlash in the past month or so but UFC 152 corrected the ship, delivering two amazing title fights and a card filled with action. A number of the matches set up a bright future for numerous divisions and the only thing the UFC has to do now is play off the success of this pay-per-view and the UFC will be back on the good graces of its fans.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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