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Vitor Belfort: “When I heard his arm pop, I let go a little…”

There’s no question legendary competitor Vitor Belfort came closer to beating UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones at UFC 152 than any other fighter had prior. Seconds after broadcasters questioned the likelihood of Belfort locking up a submission from the bottom, as if on queue, “The Phenom” secured an Armbar and put Jones in a very precarious situation.

However,  though Belfort came within inches of dethroning Jones, the 25-year old title-holder dug deep and eventually escaped the hold. As it turns out, he may have also been assisted by Belfort’s lack of bloodthirstiness.

“When I heard his arm pop, I let go a little and that is where he escaped,” admitted Belfort at the post-event press conference. “I made a mistake. He is a great fighter and I lost the opportunity.”

The show of compassion for Jones’ health ultimately cost Belfort a storybook moment, as “Bones” battled back to eventually score a submission of his own that would prove to be the end of the bout.

Regardless of the outcome, Belfort at least maintained his sense of humor about the situation, joking that Jones should have tapped when questions arose about the condition of the champion’s limb.

For the record, if Belfort had finished Jones with the Armbar it would have been his first submission using the technique since tapping out Joe Charles at UFC 15.5 in 1997.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

13 COMMENTS
  • darth_irritable says:

    Possibly a lesson to be learned from Mir here. Bones clearly had no such concern, firing the perfectly legal – but risky – side kicks to the thigh.

    You have to be pretty much sociopathic in the cage, as much as the rules allow.

    Did anyone else catch the ref’s comment when Vitor threw the kick at the “grounded” Jones to start the fight?

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  • THEGUNNER says:

    Missed the comment loved the kick.

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  • sides666 says:

    he said your playing the game meaning get up or stay down

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • hindsightufuk says:

    one of the highlights of the entire card for me was seeing John McCarthy in the cage, the guy is almost a perfect ref. sure he’s made the odd mistake but he should basically be in control of all aspects of MMA. if there were to be a president of MMA it would be Big John.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • darth_irritable says:

    Side – yeah that was what I heard. Particularly priceless after Jones gave him a “What the Fuck!” Look.

    When Jones comes out like that, I assumed it was just him being douchey and disrespectful of an opponent. Interesting that it might actually have a purpose.

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  • JBAR says:

    Maybe Vitor should train with Ronda Rousey. :)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Rece Rock says:

    Don’t stop till the ref tells yeah to…man that would have been an insane win for Belfort.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Sumoninja says:

    Jones’ fighting is so good it’s astounding. He’s not just a product of practice and technique. He’s also insanely driven and tough, as proven by him fighting through that armbar. Hat’s off to him. Now if he can just keep quiet enough to not overshadow his own fighting with PR missteps, all will be well.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    So Vitor Belfort, one of the original UFC warriors, steps up to take the Jon Jones fight. With a chance to shock the world, and earn the LHW belt (in what was likely the final title shot of his career), he locks in a pretty tight armbar… but in the heat of the moment, with adrenaline pumping, he became a btendu shy and that’s why he couldn’t seal the deal.

    We’re supposed to believe that??

    Oh well, turned out to be an entertaining fight. Nice performance by both guys.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    *became a bit gunshy

    Dang auto-correct

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  • Bad Monkey says:

    Really?? This is what you’re going to do after losing the fight? Lame excuses after the fact will never get you any respect.

    Ask Frank Mir or Ronda Rousey if they have ever eased up when they felt an opponents joint start to pop. You go until the ref stops you, and if your opponent chooses not tap, it’s their own fault. What a crock of sh*t, Vitor.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    Agree with Richard and Bad Monkey.

    I also think the armbar is getting way too much credit on MMA sites. Yes he locked it in and possibly did some damage, but he then spent the rest of the fight getting the shit kicked out of him. Now everyone is talking about how BJJ is gonna be Jones weakness because of one armbar and completely forget the fact that he dominated the four rounds and ended it by submitting his second BJJ blackbelt.

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  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    Jones has always been tough-I remember seeing him fight that durable Brazilian Andre Gusmao and taking big shots and just coming back for more-watch that fight if you can fans-I guarantee if Bones is really pressured he will strike back with authority, he is a natural born killer-hopefully he doesn’t become too lackadaisical from the lack of comp-Cormier poses a very real threat and so do any of the top five HW’s

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