Vitor Belfort labels Jon Jones as “the greatest fighter of all time”

UFC middleweight-turned-light heavyweight contender Vitor Belfort has been fighting professionally since 1996, encountering many of MMA’s biggest names along the way including Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, and Randy Couture. However, whether for reasons of pre-fight hype or self-motivation, Belfort sees current 205-pound champion Jon Jones as being in a league of his own.

Belfort was asked to weigh in on his September 22 bout with Jones on this week’s episode of Inside MMA where he tabbed “Bones” as the best fighter the sport has ever seen.

“I’m just so pleasured to fight a guy like Jon Jones, being the greatest fighter of all time,” said Belfort who labeled himself as an “old lion” who is “hungry”. “He’s improving the sport. He’s a young guy with a lot of abilities, so it’s such an honor for a guy like me, who has been around for 17 years to fight a guy like Jon Jones.”

Regarding the way his match-up with Jones came about, Belfort expressed no ill feelings towards the polarizing title-holder’s handling of a last minute meeting with Chael Sonnen in hopes of saving UFC 151 from being cancelled.

“A lot of fighters today, they are more into the sport. The new generation, they’re getting prepared. They’re studying their opponents,” explained Belfort, pointing to the evolution of MMA. “I used to fight in the Carlson Gracie time and we fight every day in the gym. So taking this fight in such short notice and going up a division, it’s an awesome journey in myself.”

“I’m not going to be here judging anybody, especially Jon Jones’ camp and himself. He fought all the champions he fought; that guy isn’t scared of anyone and I know that for sure. That’s a fact,” he concluded.

Belfort and Jones are set to serve as headliners at UFC 152. The bout will mark Jones’ fourth defense of his divisional belt, while Belfort has come out with his hand raised in two straight tilts with both wins coming by way of a first-frame finish.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

14 COMMENTS
  • darth_irritable says:

    BIt inaccurate, but hopefully we see the GOAT staring up at the roof in three weeks. He’ll come back stronger with a little humility beaten into him

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    You can’t seriously think Vitor is going to beat Jones do you? Wow. Just wow. Such hate for someone for looking out for their own best interests and not yours.

    Either way if calling Jones best ever makes the beating Vitor is gonna receive that much easier to take, then more power to him.

    Hope UFC has a plan B so when Vitor pulls out of the fight on short notice they don’t cancel another event. I’m sure that would be the fault of JBJ as well huh?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I think it’d be hilarious if Belfort ended up winning personally

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  • darth_irritable says:

    I don’t THINK he is, but I can HOPE.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  • darth_irritable says:

    Alpha – that’s my thought. – however unlikely.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  • raker says:

    Styles make fights an I honestly believe that Belfort has the tools to win this fight. I’d still put my money on Jones but to discount someone with Vitors skills and experience would be foolish.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • raker says:

    Also, Jones may very well be the best of all time skill-wise but the one thing that he is lacking in order to honestly achieve this distinction is longevity. Let him let a Silva-like streak under his belt over a longer period of time before comparing him with the Coutures, Fedors, Silvas, etc

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    “I’m just so pleasured to fight a guy like Jon Jones, being the greatest fighter of all time,” said Belfort

    Wow! Anderson kicked Vitor in the head so hard that he erased all memory of himself from Vitors conscious. That’s some fucking power.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    Haha!

    I think Vitor knows exactly what he’s saying there. Not mentioning Silva wasn’t an accident. Plus it’s obviously part of his PR move; he’s effectively obligated to do everything he can to sell his involvement in this fight.

    Personally, I like this statement; I think I understand his angle, so that’s part of it. Vitor’s a savy businessman.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    Raker – your point is definitely valid, and I loathe “MMA math”, but the quality of Jones opponents from winning the belt until now is far more impressive than Silva’s. It’s a great example of a quality -vs- quantity debate; Jones has finished three ex-champs, and I feel like he only went to a decision with Rashad out of either respect or as to make a really harsh point, “you can’t touch me, and I’m going to make you spend the rest of our allotted time trying”. I will admit, that last part is pure supposition, but it reminds me of all those times I’ve played sports against way better players; there’s that point where you know they’re dialing things back, either to not discourage you, or because you’re not even worth their 100% effort.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • raker says:

    Good point… I agree.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • darth_irritable says:

    The main issue I have with MMA Math is that it’s exclusively retroactive. You never really know if a fighter was at their peak or on the decline until you can look back afterwards.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    Absolutely! Which is why I think it’s just part of the discussion; IMO, Silva and Jones are two very distinct examples of great champions. One came into his prime at a more advanced age and, since hitting the ground running in the UFC he’s look untouchable — outside of the first Sonnen fight. In contrast, Jones is the youngest champion in UFC history and has already established a better record than 99% of anyone in the sport.

    I honestly couldn’t tell you which of them is greater, they both have pretty air-tight cases for greatness.

    Maybe they should fight and settle it? :D

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • Sumoninja says:

    I’m not so interested in this fight, although I’ll still be watching. I’m sadistically more interested in what would happen if Vitor gets injured and pulls out. Also this fight, if nothing else, sets the stage for a Jones/Silva comparison based on a mutual opponent at relatively similar times. Of course, Chael would’ve accomplished that too.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

LEAVE A COMMENT!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow 5OZ