Jon Jones (right) will defend his title against Lyoto Machida in December. | Photo: Dave Mandel
UFC President Dana White on Thursday announced that UFC 140 will be headlined by a light heavyweight title confrontation between Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida.
Only yesterday, several outlets reported that Jones would defend his belt against former teammate Rashad Evans, but a hand injury sustained by “Suga” in his last bout will apparently require more time to heal. As a result, Jones will instead defend his strap against the elusive karateka.
Also featuring a pivotal heavyweight rematch pitting Frank Mir against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, UFC 140 goes down Dec. 10 from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Showcasing a light heavyweight scrap between Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, as well as a featherweight faceoff between Mark Hominick and Chan Sung Jung, the event’s main draw is expected to air live on pay-per-view.
Only 24 years old, Jones has dominated in the UFC’s light heavyweight division since his 2008 debut. A winner of five straight contests, Jones captured the promotion’s 205-pound title in March, dispatching then champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the third round at UFC 128. Following his recovery from a nagging thumb injury, “Bones” defended his title successfully for the first time at UFC 135 on Sept. 24, applying a fourth-round rear-naked choke to turn away another former champion in Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Machida recently rebounded from back-to-back losses to earn a spectacular knockout finish over Randy Couture in the hall of famer’s last fight. Prior to that successful April 30 showing, the Brazilian striking specialist had dropped consecutive bouts to Rua and Jackson in 2010, tarnishing his previously perfect record. Machida, 33, captured the UFC light heavyweight title in 2009, knocking out Evans at UFC 98. The karate stylist successfully defended the title once, outpointing Rua at UFC 104 before being knocked cold in their rematch six months later, losing the crown at UFC 113.