September 22, 2012
Fighters face scale for UFC 152 weigh-ins
By CHRIS DOUCETTE, QMI Agency
TORONTO - ‘Bones’ just can’t catch a break.
At the UFC 140 weigh-ins in December, the last time Jon Jones was in Toronto, the light heavyweight champ was the only fighter to receive a chorus of boos.
And that card had Tito Ortiz on it — a fighter fans despised until recently.
Jones is back in town this week for UFC 152 and when he stepped up on the scales at the Mattamy Athletic Centre the boo-birds once again came out in full force.
And this time the fans’ disdain for the champ was even louder.
After tipping the scales at 204.6 pounds, UFC commentator Joe Rogan put a mic up to the lanky 6-foot-4 fighter’s face so he could say a few words before putting his belt on the line at the Air Canada Centre.
Jones said something about the challenger, Vitor Belfort, being “one of the best” in mixed martial arts. But the rest of his words were drowned out by the booing.
Jones was 23 when he stepped in on short notice to replace an injured Rashad Evans in a title fight with then champ Mauricio Rua in Mar., 2011. He beat Shogun senseless and became the youngest belt holder in UFC history.
But many fans felt he was too cocky and refused to jump on the Bones band-wagon.
Jones next choked out another former champ, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, in Sept., 2011. Then he beat Lyoto Machida, putting the Dragon to sleep with an impressive standing guillotine last time he was in Toronto.
In April, Jones came out on top after five rounds in a much anticipated grudge match against Evans, another former light heavyweight champ.
But that still wasn’t enough to win fans over.
Of course, Jones has brought some of his troubles on himself.
He was busted for drunk driving in May.
And then came UFC 151, the first card ever cancelled in the UFC’s 20-year history.
UFC President Dana White blamed the whole mess on Jones, who refused to fight Chael Sonnen on a week’s notice after Dan Henderson pulled out with a knee injury.
Most fans, and many fellow fighters, felt a real champion should take a fight with anyone, anytime, anywhere.
But Jones wouldn’t risk losing his belt by fighting someone with only a few days to prepare.
Jones is such a phenomenal young fighter that even the fans who dislike him admit it’s unlikely he’ll lose in the Octagon any time soon.
But Belfort, the fifth former light heavyweight champ Jones has faced in a row, hopes to be the one to knock the big man down a peg by knocking him out Saturday night at the ACC.
While there are plenty of other great fights on the card, this is the bout everyone is anxious to see.