• UFC 152

Jones: Sonnen's not even near Belfort

ESPN staff
September 21, 2012 « Friedel slams 'ignorant' Barthez | Chartbeat test »
Jon Jones is capable of the spectacular © Getty Images
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Jon Jones claims he will not be celebrating if he beats Vitor Belfort by a 48-47 decision at UFC 152 on Saturday, even though he has enormous respect for the Brazilian.

Jones defends his light-heavyweight belt against a man who has proven over the past 15 years that he can end bouts in one punch. Belfort is a sniper inside the Octagon, one that the champ hugely respects.

"Vitor is a legend in every shape, form of the word. He won a UFC tournament at the age of 19 - that's unheard of. To still be here at the top of the food chain all these years later, that's unbelievable," Jones told ESPN.

"I think Vitor Belfort is a tougher opponent all-round than Dan Henderson or Chael Sonnen. He has phenomenal tactics, and he also has the power to end it in one punch.

"When people question my heart for not fighting Chael Sonnen, it totally disproves that by the fact I'm fighting a much better fighter, a much more dangerous opponent, a two-weight world champion - Sonnen's not even near Vitor Belfort."

Jones likes to win fights in style, using suplexes, spinning elbows and flying knees, revealing: "Every fight I want to be innovative and stay on top of the game. There's definitely more stuff I've got in the locker that I haven't pulled off so far."

And it is that mindset that determines how Jones wants to win this weekend. If he is taken five rounds by Belfort to a decision, and if that decision is not utterly one-sided in his favour, the champ will not be happy.

"My mindset is to go out there and win in a dominant fashion. That's part of why I didn't fight Chael on eight days' notice: I didn't think I'd lose, but I want to look flawless when I fight. It's the art of fighting without fighting.

"I believe, with the right preparation, I can enter and exit fights unscathed. So would I be happy to win 48-47 against Vitor? No. I'd be happy to win, but I wouldn't be impressed. The longer I avoid punishment, the longer I stay on top."

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