With a gaping hole in the plans of thousands of UFC fans this weekend after the cancellation of UFC 151, now is the time to look ahead to the next time fans of mixed martial arts can see a UFC event live. The date will be Sept. 22 when UFC 152 emanates from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The main event will see Jon Jones defend his UFC light heavyweight title against Vitor Belfort, as well as the crowning of the inaugural UFC flyweight champion when Demetrious Johnson takes on Joseph Benavidez. Michael Bisping will also return to the Octagon by taking on American hero, Brian Stann.
With more than three weeks left before the event, where do the odds currently stand?
UFC Light Heavyweight Title: Jon Jones -1000 vs. Vitor Belfort +650
We all know why Jones is defending his title at UFC 152 instead of the non-existent UFC 151, but if looking at the odds is any indication, this should be an easier fight. Jones was favored against Dan Henderson, but he wasn't favored this much. Belfort hasn't fought at light heavyweight in years, but had won his previous two fights in the middleweight division after Anderson Silva "Seagaled" him in February 2011.
Jones is such a heavy favorite; it would be too difficult to make much money on him. Belfort has a legitimate chance at winning, but I don't know if I would take the risk.
UFC Flyweight Title: Joseph Benavidez -300 vs. Demetrious Johnson +250
While Johnson had to fight Ian McCall twice to get to this fight, Benavidez has been waiting since knocking off Yasuhiro Urushitani in March. Depending on which way you look at it, that could work in favor of either man, but Benavidez has long been considered one of the best bantamweights in the world and should be fine with the wait.
Johnson is a great fighter, but Benavidez was ranked in the top three of fighters in the bantamweight division for so long and beat everyone by Dominick Cruz. Benavidez gets my vote.
Michael Bisping -170 vs. Brian Stann +150
The last time we saw Bisping in the Octagon, he was getting robbed by the judges in his fight against Chael Sonnen. He had won four straight and was hoping for a title shot, but will now need to beat Stann to have a chance to move up in the rankings. Stann recovered from a defeat to Sonnen by knocking out Alessio Sakara in his last fight.
Stann is a favorite of mine, but Bisping is too good to lose two straight.
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Martial Arts
- Vitor Belfort
- Michael Bisping
- Jon Jones
- Joseph Benavidez
- Demetrious Johnson
- mixed martial arts