After six weeks between events, the UFC returned with a solid effort on Saturday night with UFC 152.
The Sunday Junkie, MMAjunkie.com's weekly reader-feedback feature, focuses heavily on all aspects of the show this week.
While many entries focused on the
Jon Jonesvs. Vitor Belfortheadliner, his week's winner, Ohio's Ross Miller, instead discusses the Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez co-headliner and why the competitive and technical bout should be celebrated.
For his winning entry, Ross wins a free one-year subscription to "Fighters Only" magazine, the world's leading MMA and lifestyle magazine.
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Also, as a reminder, please be sure to include your hometown and stick within the 150-word limit (and include your submission in the body of an email, not in an attachment). Many quality submissions this week didn't meet those minimum guidelines and couldn't be considered for publication.
(Pictured: Demetrious Johnson)
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WITH JOHNSON VS. BENAVIDEZ, LACK OF MISTAKES SHOULD BE CELEBRATED
We've all heard it many times: "It only takes one mistake for a fighter to capitalize and finish a fight." That one mistake is why Johny Hendricks is fighting Martin Kampmann and not Thiago Alves. It's why so many women have been armbarred by Ronda Rousey. But Saturday night at UFC 152, we saw a lack of mistakes in the co-main event. Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson did not make any substantial errors in their game plan or their execution, and because of that, the fight went the distance. Fans booed and people ranted on the Internet while claiming the fight was boring. But what needs to be realized is that we saw two evenly matched fighters at the top of their division clash. This will likely be a sign of things to come as fighters become more well-rounded and train to be mixed martial artists rather than masters of one specific discipline.
Ross "cbusmmafan" Miller
Jon JonesCLEARLY MMA'S POUND-FOR-POUND BEST
Jon Jonesperformance, I find it hard to believe people still have Anderson Silvaas the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, and Saturday's UFC 152 fight with Vitor Belfortwas no exception. Silva has finished Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt and Vitor Belfort, but he has decisions against Demian Maia, Thales Leites, Patrick Cote and double-wins over Rich Franklinand Chael Sonnen padding his resume. And he has had to go up to light heavyweight just to find "challenges" (chumps?) on his way to 15-0 in the UFC. Since his first two wins in the UFC, Jones has gone to decision only once against Rashad Evans (whom he also knocked out, like he nearly did to Stephan Bonnar earlier in his career) and has destroyed four ex-champs and other top competition in route to a 12-0 record (the Matt Hamill disqualification loss doesn't count). Every JBJ performance is masterful whereas sometimes Michael Jackson Silva shows up for a dance-off. Plus Silva has 11 years of experience on him, and "Bones" is only getting better. JBJ = GOAT. Sorry, bros.
JONES PROVES VINCIBLE
Just like Chael Sonnen proved to
Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfortproved to Jon Joneshe's not as invincible as we all thought. The UFC light-heavyweight champion only barely got out of an armbar on Saturday at UFC 152, and he fought injured for the rest of the fight before finally putting away Belfort, an opponent who never should have been there in the first place. If Belfort can almost tap out Jones, what could real, talented 205-pounders due to the champ? Jones was almost getting boring because he was running through opponents such as Lyoto Machida, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Ryan Baderso easily. I think it's actually beneficial that we've now seen he's legitimately beatable. It'll create more drama and intrigue for his upcoming fights, and I hope that next one comes against his original opponent, Dan Henderson.
DID JONES OR BELFORT SHOW TRUE HEART?
The term "heart" is mentioned often. It symbolizes endurance and determination. UFC champ
Jon Jonesexemplified that on Saturday night at UFC 152 while resisting to tap to a very deep armbar. We should remember the other definition "heart" exemplifies: compassion. It's what Vitor Belfortpersonified by not just tilting his head back, arching his hips callously and breaking Jones' arm. Experience was the enemy of the ex-champ. His awareness of the damage he could have caused, if he simply lacked the "heart," cost him UFC gold. I know this kind of "heart" is not rewarded in MMA, but it makes Belfort a classy guy in my book. As Jones spends some time in recovery nursing his hyperextended arm, wondering why every MMA fan is not his fan, I hope he realizes some fans are only won over through true martial art values such compassion, not just brute strength.
DEAR JON: DUI ARRESTS AREN'T "FREEING"
Flaunting his best Kimbo Slice beard, perhaps to help absorb a punch or two from
Vitor Belforton Saturday night at UFC 152, UFC light-heavyweight champ Jon "Bones" Jones recently stated during an interview with Joe Rogan that he was "freed" by his DUI arrest. It's downright disturbing that he claims driving under the influence, endangering the lives of others, and wrecking his Bentley are what freed him from the pressures of being a "golden boy" and being labled a phony. Seriously? Really, Jon? It should have freed the champ of his Nike endorsement and driving privileges. Drunk driving has claimed more than 20,000 lives in the U.S. between 2009-2010. DUI is a crime that should get you locked up, not set you free.
George "The Animal" Morris
Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
BELFORT SHUT UP THE NAYSAYERS
I laughed when I watched Saturday's Jon "Bones" Jones vs.
Vitor Belfortfight at UFC 152. Not because Belfort was greatly outmatched, in the wrong weight class, or the UFC got desperate for matchups like the hundreds of articles I read the past few weeks claimed. I laughed because the "old lion" shut up everyone who believed he stood no chance. He nearly won in the opening minutes and showed Jones he can still lose. Someone who had "no business in that fight" did the most damage to Jones we have seen yet. MMA proves game plans can change in the snap of your fingers. Or in this case, your forearm.
UFC BONUSES NOT ALWAYS GOING TO THOSE WHO DESERVE THEM
One of the most beautiful armbars in recent memory (Vinny Magalhaes') was snubbed Saturday night for UFC 152's "Submission of the Night" bonus, which was instead handed to a UFC champion for a decent keylock. I am starting to see a pattern here of unfairness in the distribution of these bonuses. At UFC 148,
Anderson Silvatook home a "KO of the Night" bonus (for a TKO) even though Chad Mendesstopped his opponent in like 10 seconds with a true KO on the same card. While I'd like to think Magalhaes and Mendes got a locker-room bonus for their efforts, they should have gotten the publicly announced UFC fight-night bonus. UFC champions already get great compensation for fighting, as well as most of the publicity from the promo material. If the UFC is going to weigh any bias in the public bonuses, it should be to the undercard guys who need the publicity.
BISPING HAS EARNED HIS TITLE SHOT
With his UFC 152 win over Brian Stann, a guy most websites ranked in their top 10 for middleweights, it's now time for Michael Bisping to get a title shot he's been waiting for for an awfully long time. People always complained that he fell short against the better middleweights, but on Saturday night, he got a big win against a very tough opponent and a former WEC champion. He's on a 5-1 streak, and that loss to Chael Sonnen was controversial to say the least. Bisping talks a big game, he's marketable, and he'd get people interested in his fight with UFC middleweight champion
Anderson Silva. I know Silva first has to fight Stephan Bonnar (a light heavyweight) at UFC 153, and there's the chance Silva fights Georges St-Pierre in a super fight. But Bisping's time has come, and it's time he gets his due.
CUB SWANSON NOW "IN THE MIX"
With his dominant KO of Charles Oliveira at UFC 152, Cub Swanson is making it very hard for UFC officials Joe Silva and Dana White to keep him out of the top-contender position in the featherweight division. Frankie Edgar will get the next crack at champ Jose Aldo, but after that, you have a small group of fighters who can compete for the right to get title consideration. Only Erik Koch, Chan Sung Jung,
Chad Mendesand Ricardo Lamas are even in the same position as Swanson right now. Swanson has just knocked out three straight legit featherweights (George Roop, Ross Pearson and Oliveira). That undoubtedly catapults him right near the top in my opinion. Koch is injured, so I think if there were matchups of maybe Swanson vs. Jung and Mendes vs. Lamas, it would set the stage for a top-contender fight. You throw names such as Dustin Poirier, Dennis Siver and Nik Lentz, and you now have a decent list of possible contenders at 145 pounds.
Randy "RANBX" Neidich
Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
UFC 152 PROVES WHY CARDS SHOULDN'T BE CANCELED
Aside from the two co-main events, what did UFC 152 prove to the UFC and us? We got to see Cub Swanson destroy Charles Oliveira, Evan Dunham turn into a bloodied zombie who couldn't be stopped, a controversial stoppage in Kyle Noke's welterweight debut, and Michael Bisping make his statement for No. 1 middleweight-contender status. (I'm British so everything Bisping does is great in my eyes.) Out of these fights, only one was meant to air at UFC 151 ("the lost show"), but UFC 152 ended up a show that the UFC badly needed. An absolute success. It also showed that just because a main-event fighter won't or can't fight that the card may not be an absolute failure. Instead, it could well be brilliant. Obviously, causal fans may not tune in, but with fights like those at UFC 152, they will soon learn from their lesson when they hear the hype the next day.
Southampton, Hampshire, England
UFC 152 SHOWED NEED FOR FEWER CARDS
UFC 152 may have been one of the greatest fight cards that the UFC has ever promoted. The UFC needs fewer filler fight cards, and more fight cards similar to Saturday night's never-ending set of thrills. The card had brawls, technical battles, beatdowns and a beautiful KO – and one thing that the UFC has not had in a very long time: anticipation. Thanks in large part to the cancellation of UFC 151, this fight card, which once appeared lackluster, grew to be a blockbuster. A battle of nations, the crowning of a new champion, and the drama of an embattled champion going to war with a legend – this card had more stories than any other card this year. These stories are what are needed to retain the fans whom the UFC are trying to bring in with FOX. It would be wise to have more super-cards like this every few months.
WHEN IS ENOUGH ACTUALLY ENOUGH WITH DANA WHITE?
It seems every week I am asking myself at what point will the Fertitta brothers say enough is enough with UFC President Dana White. A president who can't communicate without swearing or restrain from feuding with fans on Twitter is absurd. Post-fight pressers over the past year increasingly have White on pointless personal rants about something. People are entitled to their opinions, but seemingly even paying $60 does not entitle you to a negative one. Yet he has no problem complaining about fights. Just read his post-UFC 149 comments. His latest attack on fans leaves me not wanting to purchase another PPV. If these "morons" didn't buy PPVs or tickets, many spending a day's wages to do so, the UFC wouldn't exist. In any other company a president who constantly berates the product and customers would be looking for another job.
Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, Canada
HORRIBLE OFFICIATING RETURNS AT UFC 152
I know that referees around the country right now are getting battered by disgruntled fans, but Saturday night at UFC 152, it was just a disgrace to watch. I sat there watching a terrific fight between Michael Bisping and Brian Stann only to see Stann get poked in the eye. Stann tried to communicate with referee Josh Rosenthal, but nothing came of it. The even bigger problem tonight was during the first-ever flyweight championship fight. Yves Lavigne made some pretty strong allegations against Joseph Benavidez that whole fight. However, when Benavidez got poked in the eye, Lavigne didnt even try to stop it for a break. His answer was, "I didn't see it." Of course you're not going to see it; they are both moving too fast for you to see it. Just terrible judgement throughout the night by these referees.
San Diego, Calif.