It is hard to forget one of the greatest, most championship-mettle moments in UFC history that took place at UFC 152. Then light heavyweight champion and one half of the main event that evening, Jon Jones sure hasn’t. Following his Twitter roast of The Iceman, “Bones” would turn his attention to another UFC legend, but while taking a much different tone.
Following Vitor Belfort’s farewell fight to Lyoto Machida at UFC 224 that saw Belfort get knocked out via front kick, Jones had nothing but fond memories and warm words to send the sure-fire future Hall of Famer off with:
A case can be made that Vitor came the closest to defeating Jon Jones, even more so than Alexander Gustafsson, who lost to Jones via unanimous decision in what is regarded one of the greatest fights of UFC history. Although Jones would vanquish Belfort in the fourth round via americana submission, it is difficult to think of a scarier moment for Jones than Vitor Belfort locking him in a tight armbar that saw Jones suffer a strained ligament. As Vitor Belfort hangs it up, Jon Jones helps send Belfort off with class along with a friendly invitation to compete again in a more relaxed environment.
Enjoy your retirement brother, you deserve it. Thank you for the magnificent fight, learned a lot about myself that night. Nothing but respect for you @VitorBelfort Ps I know my arm would have been a nice little trophy for you, maybe we can run it back sometime in the future. Charity jujitsu match or something ??
Vitor Belfort is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, so although Jones was able to submit him in the setting of a full MMA fight, being the competitor that he is, it wouldn’t be surprising if Belfort took Jones up on his offer and evened the submission score between the two legends.