Champion Jon Jones, left, and challenger Vitor Belfort strike a pose during… (Matthew Sherwood / Canadian…)
UFC 152 takes place in Toronto, one of the world's top hotbeds for MMA. The event features three marquee bouts. The pay-per-view is headlined by a UFC light heavyweight title contest pitting champion Jon Jones and challenger Vitor Belfort. The first ever UFC flyweight champion will be crowned when Demetrious Johnson battles Joseph Benavidez. And in middleweight action, two of the division's most high profile stars square off: Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann.
Cub Swanson vs. Charles Oliveira
Swanson was once a top featherweight contender before a 4-4 stretch from 2007-2011. Swanson then turned his career around with a pair of impressive wins over George Roop and Ross Pearson, setting up this important bout. Oliveira is considered one of the top prospects in the 145 pound division, with his only losses coming at 155 pounds to highly regarded contenders Jim Miller and Donald Cerrone.
Round 1. Swanson lands a nice left hook early but Oliveira responds by taking Swanson to the ground. He lands a few elbows from inside Swanson's guard. Swanson scrambles out and gets back to his feet. Oliveira lands a nice knee and attempts to take Swanson back down but Swanson defends without trouble. Swanson lands a hard body punch and then an overhand punch to the head. Oliveira backs up a few steps and then collapses. The fight is called off. That was a strange finishing sequence following the hard blows by Swanson.
Winner: Cub Swanson, TKO, round 1.
Roger Hollett vs. Matt Hamill
Matt Hamill is a well known light heavyweight star with a wrestling background. His background as a deaf competitor led to a movie being made about his life. He retired following a loss to Alexander Gustafsson a year ago but came back for this fight. Hollett is a Canadian veteran making his UFC debut.
Round 1. Hamill aggressively crosses the cage right into Hollett's range. Hamill immediately begins throwing lead punches from close range. Hollett answers with an overhand right that makes Hamill back away. Hamill returns into close distance, throwing mostly one punch at a time. Hollett is throwing very little in his own right. The crowd begins to boo the slow pacing of the round. Hamill is landing the better shots almost by default. Hamill grabs a single leg and takes Hollett down. Hamill lands a series of punches and Hollett just covers up. Hamill keeps punching to the side of the head with Hollett doing nothing but defending. Hollett finally stands back up with 10 seconds left in the round. Hollett lands a punch that cuts Hamill's face and then a hard shot to the body to conclude the round. Up until then, it was a completely listless performance by Hollett. 10-9 Hamill.
Round 2. The fight resumes at a similar pace to the first round. Hamill throws sporadic punches with Hollett answering even more sporadically. Hamill then takes Hollett down 90 seconds in. Hamill lands a few punches and Hollett stands up a minute later. The crowd boos the rather glacial pace of the affair. Hamill is doing next to nothing but Hollett won't answer back. Hamill takes down Hollett to close the round. 10-9 Hamill.
Round 3. Hollett brushes off a takedown attempt at the start of the round. Hamill goes for another takedown and gets Hollett down. Hamill holds Hollett down and lands some punches from the same position as round 1, with Hollett on all fours. Hollett rolls to his back and Hamill goes back to work from half guard. Hollett gets back up with two minutes left in the round but Hamill takes him right back down. They are stood up by the referee a minute later but Hamill takes Hollett back down and continues to land punches until the end of the round. 10-9 Hamill, 30-27 Hamill.
Winner: Hatt Hamill, unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann
Bisping is one of the UFC's most colorful characters and best quotes. The Brit has been chasing a middleweight title shot for years and could be very close with a win in this bout. Stann is a former US Marine and war hero with strong standup and excellent knockout power.
Round 1. Stann immediately closes the distance and begins throwing power punches. The fighters clinch and end up against the cage where Bisping lands some knees to the body. They separate. Stann walks down Bisping with Bisping mixing in counters and circling away. Stann connects with a good straight right punch. Bisping throws a few jabs and goes for a takedown halfway through the round. Stann successfully blocks it and they end up back against the cage. They exchange heavy blows and separate. They trade hooks from close range with each man landing solid punches. Stann throws a few leg kicks and Bisping answers with a body kick. Stann is bleeding from the face. Bisping goes for a takedown. Stann blocks it and lands a heavy right punch that staggers Bisping. Luckily, it's late in the round and Bisping holds on for the remaining few seconds. 10-9 Bisping.