Grading Jon Jones’ Performance Against Vitor Belfort

The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, successfully defended his belt at UFC 152, defeating Vitor Belfort via Americana during the fourth round of their Sept. 22 encounter.

Jones was a huge favorite going into the fight, and many MMA fans expected him to make quick work of Belfort. However, Vitor ended up giving “Bones” his toughest fight to date, and he came really close to finishing the fight with an armbar during the first round.

A weaker man would have tapped out at that point, but Jones showed the heart of a champion, enduring the pain of getting his elbow popped while powering out of the submission.

Vitor secured a triangle choke during the final minute of the second round, but Jones was saved by the bell. The 25 year-old managed to stay out of bad positions for the remainder of the fight, softening Vitor up before finishing him off in the fourth round.

Jon Jones was dominant for the most part of his UFC 152 encounter against Belfort, but the Brazilian did expose a few holes in the light-heavyweight champion’s game.

For one, Jones needs to work on his posture in top-guard, as he has a tendency to keep his head too low, sometimes on his opponent’s chest.

Jones also got careless with his arms in Vitor’s guard at times, breaking a cardinal BJJ rule by placing his hands on the canvas. The way he throws elbows from guard also leaves him vulnerable to attacks.

Striking wise, Jones was as dominant as ever, using his reach to pick Belfort apart (his strategy to wear Belfort out on the ground in the first round certainly helped). He didn’t seem intimidated by Vitor’s power, and it was pretty clear he’s been working a lot on his strikes.

Jon Jones seems committed to constantly improving as a fighter, and I’m sure he’ll learn a lot from his UFC 152 bout against Belfort. Overall, I was impressed with Jones’ performance, so I’ll give him an A-.

David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.

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