Why didn’t Jon Jones tap to Vitor Belfort’s armbar?

Jon Jones and Gilbert Durinho behind the scenes at UFC 152 / Personal archive photo

Was there a Jiu-Jitsu fan that didn’t jump out of his seat when Vitor Belfort slapped that armbar on Jon Jones?

Countless practitioners “pulled” along with, tugging on an imaginary appendage to help the black belt coax the tapout from Jones; but the champion was one tough nut to crack. What followed was a barrage of elbows and frontal and spinning kicks that wore away at the Brazilian’s resistance, ultimately putting him away by americana lock in the fourth round.

But why didn’t that armbar pay out?

“It was bending backwards, in so tight. I think two things were missing: to bring the knee in when doing the armbar, and to hug the leg to work the sweep. Then Jon Jones really wouldn’t be able to defend, because he’d be swept,” Gilbert Durinho, Vitor’s Jiu-Jitsu coach, weighed in.

But from the photo taken behind the scenes afterwards one could tell the hold took its toll. The champion with his arm in a sling showed just how much damage was done. The loss doesn’t matter too much, what counts is Vitor’s grit.

UFC 152
TORONTO, CANADA
SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

Jon Jones subbed Vitor Belfort via americana in R4;
Demetrious Johnson defeated Joseph Benavidez via split decision;
Michael Bisping defeated Brian Stann via unanimous judges’ decision;
Matt Hamill defeated Roger Hollett via unanimous judges’ decision;
Cub Swanson defeated Charles do Bronx via KO in R1;
Vinny Pezão subbed Igor Pokrajac via armbar in R2;
TJ Grant defeated Evan Dunham via unaniomous decision;
Sean Pierson defeated Lance Benoist via unanimous decision;
Marcus Brimage defeated Jimy Hettes via unanimous decision;
Seth Baczynski defeated Simeon Thoresen via KO in R1;
Mitch Gagnon subbed Walel Watson via rear-naked choke in R1;
Kyle Noke defeated Charlie Brenneman via KO in R1.

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