Is Toronto Jon Jones home away from home? Are Toronto MMA fans tired of getting the current light-heavy weight champion for a third time in a row?
Although having received two title fights on the inaugural UFC event in Toronto at UFC 129, plus now three consecutive events in a row with whom many consider now to be the number one “P4P” fighter in the world, what can the mma fans of Toronto really complain about?
In each of his last two fights in the city of Toronto, Jon Jones has finished both opponents in the Air Canada Center within the second and fourth round, never having gone the distance.
Many people thought as if Lyoto Machida would cause Jones a lot of trouble in their bout at UFC 140. On December 10, 2011, just over 18,300 Canadian fans got to witness what was considered a rather dramatic ending.
As the first round concluded, it also had appeared that the challenger Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida was causing the champion some issues. The contrast in unique styles seemed to be in Machida’s favor as he was able to avoid the reach of Jones and still was able to strike in and disengage without being touched.
In the second round, Jones was able to control the distance and more or less corner Machida, after figuring out or at least keeping up with the footwork provided from “The Dragon.” At the 4:26 mark of round two, the crowd was taken off guard as well as Machida when Jones locked in a standing guillotine choke up against the cage.
Resilience and heart were shown, but finally Machida’s body could not keep up with the torque straining the neck and forcing Lyoto to drop to the canvas.
This would mark Jones second title defense and probably his toughest challenge up to that time in his career.
Two fights later and Jones would be returning to the home of the Maple Leafs and Raptors, as he was set to defend his belt against a rather un-expecting challenger. Vitor Belfort had decided to travel up in weight class from his current weight of 185 to 205lbs.
Although having fought at the 205lbs level before, Vitor had solidified himself as a top contender at 185lbs, and hadn’t even fought outside the weight since July 19, 2008.
Many questions came into this title fight as if it were a legit matchup and was what Toronto residents wanted to see. It seemed there was not as much interest in this fight, and with two thousand less in the arena that Jones fought in front of last year, could have been a sign that the people from Toronto were lashing out or getting tired of the young champion.
Throughout the first round the fight was controlled by Jones as many had figured out would happen, but while on his back, Vitor had almost locked in a slick arm bar, but Jones was able to escape.
The rest of the fight was all Jones as he stalked a tired and now less confident Vitor Belfort. When the fight came to the fourth round and Jon had Belfort on the mat and more tired and exhausted than ever in the fight, the champion was able to naturalize the Brazilian jui-jistu black belt and submit him with a key lock.
Jon Jones has always put on a good show for the city of Toronto and I personally expect nothing less, come UFC 165.
This time around on September 21, 2013, Jon Jones will attempt to break free of sharing the light heavyweight title defense record of five defenses. With the win over the tough challenge of Alexander Gustafsson he will become the sole leader in most title defenses at his weight class.
Jon Jones coming into this fight has a chance to make history, and I assure you (in my opinion) that Gustafsson is going to have more than his hands full at trying to stop him.
With the reach, the dynamic striking, combined with his wrestling ability, he will be too much for “The Mauler” and yet again us fans will be left entertained and wanting more from the young phenom and legend in the making, Jon Jones.