||08-24-2012 07:21 PM
Champ Jones opens as 13-to-1 favorite over Belfort at UFC 152
Noted MMA oddsmaker Joey Oddessa sums up the odds for newly announced UFC 152 main event between UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Vitor Belfort rather succinctly.
"You can't make the line high enough for Jones vs. Belfort," he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
That's why Oddessa has set the opening line at -1,300 for Jones and +700 for Belfort, which gives the champ an approximate 90 percent chance of winning the fight.
Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) vs. Belfort (21-9 MMA, 10-5 UFC) came about after Thursday's flurry of news. First, Dan Henderson pulled out of a UFC 151 headliner with Jones due to a partially torn MCL. Jones then refused Chael Sonnen as a late replacement, and the UFC opted to outright cancel the Sept. 1 UFC 151 event. Then, the UFC announced Jones vs. Lyoto Machida II as the new UFC 152 headliner – only then to confirm Machida turned down the fight and Belfort had been plugged in as a replacement.
All that happened in less than 24 hours.
UFC 152 takes place Sept. 22 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and Jones vs. Belfort headlines the pay-per-view main card.
Belfort, who hasn't fought at light heavyweight in more than five years, recently has plied his trade at middleweight (and in a 195-pound catchweight fight with Rich Franklin in 2009). He's 7-1 in his past eight fights, and the lone loss came to UFC champ Anderson Silva in an early-2011 middleweight title fight.
However, 35-year-old Belfort, who hasn't fought since a January win over Anthony Johnson, isn't being given much of a chance against 25-year-old Jones, one of MMA's current pound-for-pound kingpins. More disappointing, Oddessa said, is that the UFC broke up a UFC 153 bout between Belfort and fellow contender Alan Belcher to make the UFC 152 matchup.
"It's an unfortunate turn of events for Alan Belcher, whose current success was worth paying attention to," he said. "(Chris) Weidman vs. Belcher is potentially a good fight, but Weidman would run through Belfort on a bad day."
In other words, Oddessa doesn't think Belfort is on par with a top middleweight contender, let alone the reigning light-heavyweight champion.
Then again, the last time Oddessa put odds on such a mismatched UFC title fight was UFC 69 and Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Serra. And we all know how that turned out.
For the latest MMA odds, follow Oddessa on Twitter at @mmaodds.
For more on UFC 152, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
Javier, I think you and I may not get our wish
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