Jones was originally slated to face Lyoto Machida at the event, but according to UFC President Dana White the Brazilian turned down the fight. No reason was given as to why Machida declined.
Belfort was the UFC 205-pound champion in 2004 after taking the belt from Randy Couture at UFC 46. The 35-year-old returns to the light heavyweight division for the first time in exactly five years with the opportunity to claim the title
News of the new UFC 152 main event was first reported by Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com.
Jones (16-1) defending his championship for the third time when he defeated bitter rival “Suga” Rashad Evans via unanimous decision at UFC 145 last April. The fight was the first five-round bout of Jones’ career and he displayed solid improvements in his striking by assaulting Evans with standing elbows. The 24-year-old will be riding an eight-fight win streak heading into UFC 152.
Belfort (21-9) will fight in the UFC for the 16th time in his storied career at UFC 153. The Brazilian has fought the best fighters in the world all over the globe in his career and will be fighting in Canada for the first time in his career. The former UFC light heavyweight champion last fought at UFC 142 last January, submitting Anthony Johnson in the first round and was scheduled to face Alan Belcher at UFC 153 in October. Belfort is one of the most exciting fighters in the world; he has crippling knockout power in his hands that can put any man to sleep with one shot and black belt level jiu-jitsu skills to back it up.
UFC 152 goes down Sept. 22 from the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The event also features a flyweight championship bout between Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson.