Brace yourselves everybody, the UFC have just dropped another unexpected bombshell with the news that light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones will now face Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 on December 10th.
Yesterday it had been reported that Jones would be fighting the recognised No.1 contender Rashad Evans for the strap, but Dana White went on to deny that was the case.
However, it appears the rumors were partially correct. The catch is that Evans won’t be ready in time after having hurt his hand during his win over Tito Ortiz back in August, and so Machida has now been drafted in to replace him.
It’s clearly a fight that was established very recently as Machida had only just told his fans a few days ago that he wasn’t expecting to be back in the Octagon until 2012.
Reacting to today’s news Jones wrote on Twitter, “Fighting 3 champions in one year, What a great challenge.. Feeling alive”
While it’s unfortunate that Evans can’t make the date since he may have the key to beating Jones having previously trained with him, Machida is also an intriguing match-up as well.
In fact many have predicted that Machida poses the most problems out of anyone in the division for ‘Bones’ with his rangey, counter-striking karate style and fast reactions.
Nevertheless facing the dominant Jones is a daunting prospect for the former champion who suffered the first two losses of his career back-to-back against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and then Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in 2010, but has since bounced back with a spectacular flying front kick KO of hall-of-famer Randy Couture in April.
Jones Vs Machida will now headline the card, while a rematch between Frank Mir and Antonio ‘Rodrigo’ Nogueira will serve as the co-main event in Toronto, Canada.