After Jon Jones rejected the offer of the UFC to fight Chael Sonnen as a replacement for Dan Henderson on 9 days notice to defend his title on the advice of his coach and manager Greg Jackson, the Light Heavyweight Title picture became murky.
Once the organization decided there was no hope for UFC 151, they immediately had to decide what to do with the title fight and who would face the champion. Since Chael Sonnen was already signed to a fight later that year, his title aspirations were dashed as quickly as they were presented, after all what did he have to show to say he deserved the shot, other than he would fight on short notice.
Then the organization did the logical thing and went to the next number one contender in the Light Heavyweight Division, Lyoto Machida, but he was currently unreachable because he was visiting his relatives in Brazil and didn’t have cell phone service, and really can’t be blamed at this point, because honestly a title fight to decide who he would face next was 9 days away, so why would he expect a call to arms so soon.
But during the cancellation of UFC 151 it was stated that The Dragon would be fighting Jon Jones at UFC 152, on September 22nd. Later that day, Ed Soares released a statement saying that Lyoto wasn’t even aware of this arrangement, because he is still unreachable because there was no service, so he never agreed to fight on the 22nd.
After Machida was brought back from the stone age and made contact with his manager he said that he would not fight at 152 but he would fight at 153 which is scheduled for later date in October and this was too far for the UFC, so they needed to find a replacement for the title fight that was just moved to UFC 152.
This is where the UFC decided to offer Shogun Rua the title shot, but Rua had to decline because he was still under a medical suspension from fighting recently, and then they decided that Vitor Belfort another perennial contender should fight Jon Jones.
Vitor Belfort jumped at the opportunity and is now set to face Jones at UFC 152, and Belfort commented on the situation saying, “Kids today are worried about their careers, I just want to fight.”
Belfort will have a quite a task with taking on the current champion because the odds opened at 13:1 making Belfort the biggest underdog in a title fight since UFC 69 when Georges St. Pierre was a huge favorite over Matt Serra but that didn’t stop The Terror from interrupting the champion’s reign in the first round with a flurry of punches to complete a story fit for a movie.