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Posted on August 24, 2012 by Jack Thurman

Jon Jones A Big Favorite Over Vitor Belfort In UFC 152 Betting Lines
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While the MMA media and Zuffa fanboys are still hysterical over the events of Thursday which resulted in the cancellation of UFC 151 life goes on at the world’s sportsbooks. Barring anything unforeseen–and that’s been the norm rather than the exception of late–Jon Jones will now defend his UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 152 against Vitor Belfort. The original plan was for Jones to defend against Lyoto Machida (who had originally been slated to fight Belfort) but ‘The Dragon’ wanted nothing of the fight for as of yet unknown reasons. Belfort is actually a better choice to face Jones, just for the reason that the two men have never fought. Machida, on the other hand, lost to Jones in decisive fashion at UFC 140 not lasting even two rounds before succumbing to submission.

The opening UFC betting lines have been posted for the Jones/Belfort and not surprisingly the champion is an overwhelming favorite. Jones has been installed as a whopping -925 favorite over Belfort, with takeback on the challenger a hefty +625. Jones is definitely an imposing physical specimen (more about that in a moment) and to date has been a dominating champion. Then again, the significance of that is minimized due to the dearth of serious challengers in the UFC at light heavyweight and other weight classes. Since winning the title from Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, Jones has defended the belt three times against Machida, Rashad Evans and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. All three are big names but all range from slightly past their prime (Machida) to well past their prime (Evans, Jackson). Obviously the UFC’s fight promotion histrionics do nothing to undermine the assertion that Jones is on track to be the ‘greatest light heavywight ever’ but that remains to be seen.

One thing is certain–Jones is a difficult matchup for any opponent due to his sheer size. Jones has the build of a heavyweight but manages to cut to the light heavyweight limit of 205. He’s 6’4″ but his most formidable weapon is a downright ridiculous 84.5″ reach–a longer reach than any of the great heavyweights in pro boxing like Ali, Foreman or current champion Wladimir Klitschko. He’s not much of a technical striker (Joe Rogan’s embarrassing gushing to the contrary) but that could make him more dangerous–you never know where the punches will be coming from.

We’ll provide a full UFC betting breakdown before the day of the fight but suffice to say that Vitor Belfort will have his hands full. He’s a significantly smaller man that will give up 4″ in height and 10″ in reach. That’s tough to counter even for the best fighter.

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