Three weeks from now, Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, will make his fourth title defense against Dan Henderson at UFC 151. The two will headline the UFC 151 fight card set for Sept. 1, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
Lyoto Machida earned the number one contender spot in the light-heavyweight division with his impressive win against Ryan Bader at “UFC on Fox 4,” so he’ll get to fight the winner of the Jones-Henderson matchup. Jones beat Machida at UFC 140, but the Brazilian gave him some problems during the first round of their encounter.
Given how well Machida performed against Jon Jones at UFC 140, many MMA fans are looking forward to the rematch between the two, but the youngest champion in UFC history isn’t one of them. He remains solely focused on defeating Henderson at UFC 151.
“I’m not really thinking about Lyoto Machida at all,” Jones said during a conversation with Ariel Helwani. “He’s a great fighter, but he’s a puzzle I’ve figured out once and can do it again. Dan Hendo is what I’m focused on right now. He’s an older fighter who’s coming into his own and just keeps getting better. Looking past an opponent is like looking at second base when a fast ball is coming at you. You can’t do it. Dan’s right hand is like the fast ball. … He doesn’t offer problems, but challenges to rise up to and it’ll be exciting. He’s got strong wrestling and a good overhand right, but nothing I haven’t seen before.”
Jones will be a huge favorite going into his UFC 151 encounter against Henderson, but it’s certainly wise not to underestimate an accomplished fighter like Henderson. The former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion has already faced some of the very best MMA fighters on the planet, and “Hendo” has more than enough power in his right hand to put anyone to sleep.
Mike Searson, “Jon Jones: I am not really thinking about Lyoto Machida at all”
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.