In a very surprising twist, current UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones will no longer be facing Rashad Evans in his next bout. Instead, Jones will now face Lyoto Machida at UFC 140, set for Dec. 10. Evans was removed from the UFC 140 fight card due to a hand injury.
“Alright Toronto!!! Dec 10th UFC 140 tix go on sale next weekend and ur main event is Bones Jones vs Machida!!!,” White tweeted early Oct. 6.
Many were hoping to see Jones and Evans settle their differences inside the Octagon, but the matchup against Machida is just as intriguing. Many thought Machida was being punished by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, for demanding “Anderson Silva money” when asked to face Evans at UFC 133, but it seems like both parties have moved forward.
Machida will be the most technical striker Jones has ever faced, and it’ll be interesting to see how the UFC’s youngest champion deals with the veteran MMA fighter’s slick counter-strikes.
Jones’ striking seems better every time he steps into the Octagon, and I expect him to be up to the task when he faces Machida at UFC 140. Jones will enjoy the large reach advantage he enjoys in every MMA fight, and he should be able to hold his own against Machida in the standup department.
Jones is also the better wrestler and he shouldn’t have any problems getting the MMA fight to the ground. Machida’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is pretty good, but I don’t think it will be enough to handle Jones’ overwhelming top-game.
Machida’s style should bring out the best Jon Jones we have ever seen, and I expect him to finish off 2011 with an impressive win over a true legend of the sport.
Some MMA fans refuse to give Jones credit for his accomplishments inside the Octagon, but I expect that to change with time. I don’t think there’s a fighter in the UFC’s light-heavyweight division that can beat Jon Jones right now, and the 24 year old MMA fighter will only get better with time.