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Dec 2, 2012 9:22pm
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TORONTO —Not many fighters wanted to step into the cage in Toronto against UFC
light-heavyweight champion Jon (Bones) Jones, according to UFC boss Dana White.
Andre Johnson Elite Jersey . But while others
only saw a high possibility of defeat, veteran fighter Vitor (The Phenom)
Belfort saw a chance to test himself. “Now I fight not for the fame, not for the
money, not for the position, I fight for pleasure,” said the 35-year-old
Brazilian who made his pro debut in October 1996 when Jones was nine. “Its a joy
... Im like a young dinosaur. Im an old lion in the midst of these young lions.
So Im enjoying this jungle.” “I love challenges and this is another challenge in
my life,” he added. That was good news for White, who admitted he had a hard
time finding an opponent after Dan Henderson withdrew due to injury. “No ones
too excited to jump around and fight Jon Jones right now,” White told a media
conference call Tuesday. “Vitor stepped up and took the fight,” he added. “Guys
that were next in line for the fight wanted nothing to do with it.” Jones and
Belfort face off Sept. 22 at UFC 152 at the Air Canada Centre. Its a matchup of
phenoms. Belfort was nicknamed The Phenom after winning the UFC 12 heavyweight
tournament in February 1997, becoming at 19 the youngest fighter to win in the
Octagon. Jones became the UFCs youngest ever champion when he dethroned Mauricio
(Shogun) Rua at the age of 23 years 242 days. Jones (16-1) was slated to meet
Henderson at UFC 151 on Sept. 1 in Las Vegas. But the UFC was forced to shelve
the event after Jones refused to accept middleweight contender Chael Sonnen as a
replacement opponent, saying it was too short notice. White was irate at the
time but has since calmed down. Still, Jones and he have yet to hash it out.
“Well see each other in Toronto. He and I need to get into a room face to face
and talk,” White said. “Ive been in this business for 12 years and Ive dealt
with just about everybody you can deal with—good guys, bad guys. You know Jon
Jones isnt a bad guy.” Said Jones: “Im over it, man, I really am. Im actually
getting more and excited to talk to Dana and get this behind us.” White said he
opted for Belfort over Sonnen as an opponent for Jones in Toronto because the
Brazilian was already training for a fight while Sonnen wasnt. And the UFC boss
dismissed any critics of the matchup. “If you dont like this fight and you dont
think its going to be a great fight, dont watch it,” he said dismissively.
Belfort (21-9) has been campaigning as a middleweight (185 pounds) recently but
has won titles as a light-heavyweight (205) and heavyweight. “If the Vitor
Belfort shows up that weve seen a million times (with) that explosive knockout
power, if Vitor doesnt just stand out there and hang out there, if he fights,
this is a very dangerous fight for Jon Jones,” said White. The bookmakers have
made Jones a huge favourite, with odds of 9-1 in some places. Jones doesnt seem
to care about the lopsided odds in his favour, or any bad press. “My names all
over the place right now and Im looking at the positives in it,” he said. Jones,
for one, says he believes there is plenty of interest in the remade main event.
In his book, Belfort is popular in Brazil and is a favourite of the “old-school
generation of martial fans and the new generation of martial arts fans.” “And
right now theres a lot of buzz around my name, whether its good or bad,” he
said. “And I think between those two factors a lot of people are going to tune
in to watch a phenom versus another phenom.” Belfort has faced seven former UFC
or Pride champions over his career: Anderson Silva, Randy Couture, Chuck
Liddell, Rich Franklin, Ortiz, Wanderlei Silva and Henderson. Both Jones and
Belfort are vocal about their religious beliefs. Asked whether cagefighting was
at odds with their faith, Jones said he didnt think God gave him any advantage
over his opponent. “I think God could care less about a UFC fight. What I do
believe is that God helps me live a certain life,” said Jones, who is the son of
a pastor. “Im constantly seeking Christ and Im constantly trying to develop a
stronger relationship with Christ. Im constantly trying to grow closer to
Christ. “I believe that my relationship with Christ helps me live a better life
than what I think most 25-year-olds would be living. I mean right now I have the
option to do whatever I want, when I want, be friends with who I want. “I know
it sounds a little taboo to people who dont understand this type of lifestyle
but I live a pretty crazy life and I really think if I didnt have Christ in my
life I would be a hot mess. There would be a lot of craziness going on.” Its not
all been smooth sailing for the young champ. There was drunk driving arrest
earlier this year. Said Belfort: “Jesus only expects one thing from everybody,
every Christian. He wants you to do your best. And Im doing my best, man. “Im
just here loving people.” But maybe not in the cage. “Im there to win,” the
Brazilian said. NOTES —Quinton (Rampage) Jacksons swan song fight in the UFC
has been postponed. The former light-heavyweight champion has been forced to
withdraw from the UFC 153 co-main event in Brazil against Glover Teixeira due to
injury. J.J. Watt Youth Jersey . —Mike Smith was
stingy in goal, but generous with his praise after his second shutout of the
season. Whitney Mercilus Jersey . —On the hottest
day this year in Kansas City, dehydration was starting to become a concern. http://www.shopthehoustontexansjerseys.com/chris-myers-jersey
. —The Philadelphia 76ers danced in celebration after their first-round upset
of the top-seeded Chicago Bulls. Andre Johnson White Jersey . LOUIS —After
dropping two of three to the Houston Astros, Paul Konerko said the Chicago White
Sox were looking to get back on track as quickly as possible Tuesday night
against the St. Andre Johnson Texans Jersey . PETERSBURG,
Fla.OTTAWA—Bryan Murray just wants to see some action. The Ottawa Senators
general manager has had plenty of idle time on his hands due to the current NHL
lockout, and so hes excited for the start of the AHL Binghamton Senators
training camp. Camp gets underway Friday with 36 players reporting for medicals
and testing. Murray anticipates a highly competitive camp and is looking forward
to seeing some of the Senators young prospects at work, including Jared Cowen.
The defenceman is the only full-time Ottawa Senator from last season still on
his two-way entry-level contract. Though Cowen spent the entirety of last season
with the big club, Murray isnt worried about his development or his attitude
playing with second-tier Binghamton. “Like every player thats played in the NHL
I think the first day is maybe a bit of a disappointment,” Murray said. “But
beyond that I think hes so competitive and he knows a lot of the players; hes
played down there before. This will help Jared refine his game somewhat too.”
Murray anticipates the AHL being even stronger this season as many other NHL
teams will have some young prospects playing. “It should be a very good league
this year with the number of strong candidates that will be on entry level
(contracts) that will be down there playing,” said Murray. “Its a good
introduction (to professional hockey) and it gives them a chance to do
things…so they will be good players at the upper level some day.” Murray will
be keeping a close eye on the development of forward Mika Zibanejad, the
Senators first overall pick in 2011, as well as prospects such as Mark Stone
annd Jakob Silfverberg, who likely would have been fighting for roster spots in
Ottawa had training camp opened on time. Connor Barwin Jersey. After a disappointing
season last year where the 19-year-old struggled offensively and dealt with
injuries, Murray is hopeful Zibanejad will thrive in Binghamton. “Our
expectation is go down there, play, play real hard, play North American style
and compete for loose pucks,” Murray said. “We know he has the tools to be a
good player and hell have a chance when the NHL opens up again to be a good
player at the NHL level, but I think this will be a real benefit for him to go
and get games under his belt.” Both Silfverberg and Stone played in the Senators
first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers this past spring and
Murray sees great potential in both. While goalie Ben Bishop, who was acquired
by the Senators late last season, is not currently listed as part of the 36
players to attend camp, there is a strong possibility he could sign a deal
allowing him to play in Binghamton. Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean will be
in Binghamton for the start of camp, but this will definitely be
Luke Richardsons team. Richardson is making his head coaching debut with the AHL
club, but Murray expects much from the former NHL defenceman. While Murray would
prefer to see his players in the NHL, he understands their desire to compete and
said he felt Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson signing overseas will benefit their
game. He also wouldnt have any objection to seeing a few others, such as
Kyle Turris and Zack Smith, finding an opportunity to play somewhere. ’ ’ ’ 

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