62° Good Evening
62° Good Evening
SportsMixed Martial Arts

Next up for Jon Jones and UFC 152: Vitor Belfort

Vitor Belfort, from Brazil, celebrates after defeating Antony

Vitor Belfort, from Brazil, celebrates after defeating Antony Johnson, from the US, during their middleweight mixed martial arts bout at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 142 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) Photo Credit: AP Photo/Felipe Dana

After a whirlwind Thursday that included three different opponents for UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to fight 10 days later, Friday morning brought about a fourth and final -- hopefully -- opponent.

Jones will defend his title at UFC 152 on Sept. 22 in Toronto against . . . Vitor Belfort.

Yes, Vitor Belfort.

How did he arrive here? The recap:

Opponent No. 1 Dan Henderson injured the medial collateral ligament in his knee and decided on the advice of his medical team to pull out of the Sept. 1 title fight against Jones at what was supposed to be UFC 151 in Las Vegas.

Opponent No. 2 became Chael Sonnen, a middleweight who had previously announced that he would up to light heavyweight after losing a second title shot to Anderson Silva.

He accepted the fight, Jones did not. UFC 151 in its entirety was canceled, president Dana White launches into a 30-minute conference call/smear campaign against Jones and his team.

Opponent No. 3 Lyoto Machida is then scheduled to fight Jones at UFC 152, White said on Thursday's conference call.

Then, on Friday morning, it is announced that Machida has turned down that title fight and Belfort took his spot.

"I want to serve the UFC and recapture the belt," Machida said in a statement. "I always respect my opponent. For those reasons, I must prepare myself in the manner I believe in."

New York Sports