Demetrious Johnson only needed two minutes and eight seconds to finish Joseph Benavidez at UFC on Fox 9 this past Saturday night. This nationally televised platform has officially the stomping ground for the Xbox clad fighter who has run off three consecutive title defenses, with each being more impressive than the last.
Super Bowl weekend traditionally plays host to one of the biggest UFC events of the year, and this card is no exception. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for UFC 156. Every fight on the main card could be a main event and is reminiscent of the early Zuffa cards before the sport’s ascension. All of the bouts have important divisional ramifications and it is all topped off by what could end up being the greatest fight in the history of mixed martial arts.
-Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall
It’s takes a clever fighter with the ludicrous speed to dethrone the likes of Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall. That fighter’s name is Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Joseph Benavidez was the odds on favorite to win the Flyweight tournament and was kept guessing and off balance for the entire five round affair. Ian McCall had more hype than anyone, going into the tournament and fought Johnson fought twice due to a judging error in the first bout that was scored a draw and some felt McCall won.
Benavidez brings to the table his explosive wrestling ability along with his power and athleticism. McCall is the more technical fighter who is very crafty and could catch Benavidez going in wild for a takedown or a submission. Both have tremendous cardio and are hungry to get back in the mix as they are the number 2 & 3 contenders in the world. McCall is preoccupied with personal issues outside of the cage in the form of childcare issues and separation from his wife which he feels will lead to a divorce.
McCall is a charismatic individual who could go a long way in the UFC, but he needs to find a way to put his personal issues aside to handle the razor sharp Benavidez. While McCall is dangerous on the ground, Demetrious Johnson was able to take him down pretty easily in their second fight. There will be some close calls in this bout, but Benavidez will have an easier controlling where the bout takes place.
The Pick: Joseph Benavidez by decision
Calling The Shots of UFC 152
All eyes will be on Jon Jones in the wake of the debacle that canceled last month’s UFC 151. The event that never was will serve as a lesson to the MMA faithful that a new precedent has been set. Fans inside the Air Canada Centre will reap the benefits and witness the genesis of one division while another division could be knocked into complete disarray.
-Light Heavyweight Championship: Jon Jones (16-1) vs. Vitor Belfort (21-9): A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, Vitor Belfort was the most dominant fighter in Mixed Martial Arts. The Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belt is gifted with incredible hand speed and excellent boxing. To the dismay of some and the adulation of others, Jon Jones currently wears that mantel of most dominant fighter. The scary thing about Jones is that he’s still improving. He has a reach like no other and uses it to maximum efficiency with uncanny athleticism.
I think it is important to note the only reason Vitor Belfort is getting a light heavyweight title shot is because he’s the most marketable person they could get to take the fight on four weeks’ notice. The Brazilian has spent the last five years competing in the middleweight division. He had a cup a coffee as light heavyweight champion in 2004 but his win over Randy Couture was the fluke of all flukes and he lost the belt seven months later in a shutout. When Belfort is on his game, there is no one who is more dangerous. Make no mistake about, if he catches Jones on the chin, that’s a wrap folks.
At one time, the UFC only had four weight classes under the Zuffa banner. Tonight’s card on FX ushers in an 8th division as the 125 lb weight class takes center stage. Fans will also be treated to a welterweight slug fest that will set some type of balance to a division in limbo as the next move of Carlos Condit and Georges St. Pierre is unknown.