With the memory of UFC 151 shrinking in the proverbial rear-view mirror on a day-by-day basis the MMA world is starting to look ahead to September 22 when polarizing champion Jon Jones puts his light heavyweight title on the line against seasoned veteran Vitor Belfort. In addition to catching the interest of fans, the bout has Jones excited as well based on the opportunity to fight an opponent with Belfort’s status as one of the sport’s legitimate legends.
Jones recently offered up his thoughts on the tilt in an interview with the UFC where he gave Belfort credit to a certain extent, though was also quick to pat his own back as well.
“He’s a winner. I’m a winner. He’s a dominant guy. I think that I dominate my competition. It’s gonna be a magnificent, magnificent display of martial arts,” said Jones of the pairing, also pointing to his interest in facing a Southpaw (as Belfort is) to show he’s improved since absorbing a few stiff shots from lefty Lyoto Machida last December.
Though “Bones” acknowledged Belfort’s accomplishments were impressive, he also said he thinks he’s done as much if not more than “The Phenom” in his eleven Octagon outings.
“I really believe that, in my short career, I’ve already fought a lot tougher opponents than he has. I feel like I have more championship-caliber fights than he does,” stated Jones after discussing the difference between MMA today and during Belfort’s earlier runs in PRIDE and the UFC.
For the record, among Belfort’s 30 total fights were those against adversaries such as Randy Couture, Alistair Overeem, Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Rich Franklin, and Wanderlei Silva. All of the aforementioned individuals have worn gold in the UFC, PRIDE, and/or Strikeforce with all on the list except Overeem currently in or destined for Hall of Fame enshrinement.
While Jones’ assessment isn’t likely to win him any news fans, it certainly displays the extreme confidence of a young champion who feels unbeatable. Whether it will remain when it comes to the UFC 152 results remains to be seen.
Check out the complete segment with Jones below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC