• UFC 152

Jones to fight Belfort after Machida snub

ESPN staff
August 24, 2012

Jon Jones will now face Vitor Belfort at UFC 152 after Lyoto Machida turned down the chance to fight for the light-heavyweight belt.

UFC president Dana White was forced to take the unprecedented step of cancelling UFC 151, which was due to take place in Las Vegas next Saturday, after Dan Henderson was forced to pull out with a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Chael Sonnen offered to step in at eight days' notice, but Jones turned down an alternative opponent, prompting Sonnen to accuse Jones of being a "brat" for refusing to fight.

Jones' title defence was then added to the UFC 152 card in Toronto, where he was slated to face Machida, only for the former champion to decline the opportunity in another twist to a bizarre series of events.

That opened the door for Belfort, who has stepped up a weight divison: he had been preparing to fight Alan Belcher at middleweight after UFC 153 in Rio. Belcher's new opponent is expected to be announced within the next week.

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