Jon Jones will now face former champion Vitor Belfort for the UFC light heavyweight championship on September 22 in Toronto, as Thursday’s bizarre series of events has taken yet another twist.
Jones was originally slated to face Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in Las Vegas; however, Henderson was forced to withdraw this week due to a knee injury. Polarizing former middleweight Chael Sonnen was offered the replacement spot and it briefly appeared that UFC 151 would take place with Jones vs. Sonnen as the headliner. However, Jones ultimately declined the fight, forcing the unprecedented cancellation of an entire UFC event.
This morning, UFC president Dana White announced that Jones would face former champion Lyoto Machida in a rematch that would headline the UFC 152 event on September 22. Machida earned the contender spot with his showcase knockout of Ryan Bader earlier this month. But this time it was Machida who declined the opportunity, opening the door for fellow Brazilian Belfort to earn the nod.
Belfort had been penciled in to fight Alan Belcher at middlewight at UFC 153 in Rio; a replacement for that fight will be announced in coming days.
Coming up next: UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort is LIVE on Pay-Per-View Saturday, September 22nd from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario at 7 pm PT/10 pm ET. For more info on UFC 152 or the UFC, visit www.UFC.com