Joseph Benavidez (left) fights Demetrious Johnson in the flyweight championship during UFC 152 at the Air Canada Centre. (PHOTO: US PRESSWIRE)
TORONTO - Jon Jones successfully defended his light heavyweight title, surviving an early scare to submit former champion Vitor Belfort in the fourth round at UFC 152 on Saturday night.
Belfort came close with an armbar in the first round, but Jones' reach, varied attack and ground and pound took a toll on the veteran challenger.
Unable to get his striking game going, Belfort tried to take the fight to the ground where he could use his jiu-jitsu. But he paid a price and finally fell victim to an Americana submission 54 seconds into the round. Jones improved to 17-1, and Belfort dropped to 21-10.
In the co-main event at the Air Canada Centre, Demetrious Johnson won a split decision - 48-47, 47-48, 49-46 - over Sacramento's Joseph Benavidez to become the UFC's first flyweight champion.
Benavidez almost stopped the fight when he knocked down Johnson with a right punch in the fourth round. Johnson was able to escape a one-armed guillotine attempt by Benavidez and survived the round to the decision.
Benavidez was visually upset after hearing Bruce Buffer announce Johnson the winner of the flyweight championship. His professional fighting record falls to 16-3.
The Associated Press