Jones backed to shine
Following weeks of speculation and vilification, Jon Jones makes his third defence of his UFC Light Heavyweight title against Vitor Belfort.
By Jonathan Witty - Twitter: @JonathanWitty
Last Updated: 22/09/12 7:52pm
Following weeks of speculation and vilification in the press and amongst UFC fans, Jon Jones makes his third defence of his UFC Light Heavyweight title against Vitor Belfort.
Four weeks since UFC President blamed the cancellation of UFC 151 on Jones' refusal to fight Middleweight Chael Sonnen on eight day's notice, the 24-year-old steps into the Octagon against the man who was also a young prodigy.
Belfort became the youngest-ever winner of the UFC Heavyweight belt in 1997, when he was just 19 and went on to win the Light Heavyweight title too.
But despite the Brazilian's pedigree, Jones is a huge favourite to win at 1/8, mainly because of the significant reach advantage he has over Belfort.
The Jackson's MMA fighter is on a run of seven victories, with only one coming via decision, and is 8/11 to stop the 'Phenom'.
In the other title bout on the stacked card, Demetrious Johnson takes on Joseph Benavidez to decide the inaugural Flyweight champion in the conclusion of the tournament for the 125lbs fighters.
Benavidez (4/11) started the tournament as big favourite and is still at the top of the betting, with Johnson 21/10.
The Team Alpha Male fighter dominated against Yasuhiro Urushitani to reach the showpiece, but struggled against Dominick Cruz, who has excellent movement, and Johnson's exquisite footwork should help him seal the victory.
'Mighty Mouse' has also suffered defeat to Cruz, but since both men were effectively fighting a weight division above their natural classification it would be difficult to draw too many conclusions from that bout.
Look to Johnson to seal a decision victory over five rounds (4/1), but he must avoid Benavidez's powerful striking in order to be successful.
Michael Bisping is 1/2 favourite to beat Brian Stann and perhaps carve an opportunity for a title shot against Anderson Silva with an impressive display.
He is 12/1 to achieve an impressive victory in the opening round by TKO/KO in Sky Bet's 'What If' special, which would surely be a result that would propel him to the front of the Middleweight contenders queue.
Despite losing to Chael Sonnen last time out, Bisping looked like a fighter who had evolved from his beginnings as a mere striker and should have the necessary skills on the ground to outclass Stann.
The American has impressive knock-out power and is 9/4 to win by TKO, with three of his last four wins coming by that method of victory.
Elsewhere on the main card, Cub Swanson is 21/10 to beat Charles Oliveira (4/11) and Matt Hamill is 2/7 favourite to overcome Roger Hollet on his return to the Octagon.