It isn’t the grudge match against Rashad Evans that fans have been clamoring for since last Spring, but Jon Jones’ next title defense against former champ Lyoto Machida still holds a ton of intrigue – at least, according to UFC president Dana White.
During a press conference held today to promote the UFC 140 main event between Jones and Machida, White explained why he feels Machida’s style and veteran status not only warranted his shot at the title, but also make for an interesting fight with the dynamic young Bones.
“This is a fun one. I like this fight stylistically,” said White. “Jon Jones – I said it before he fought Rampage – if Jon Jones can walk through Rampage just like he did Shogun and everybody else that he’s fought, then he has arrived, he is the real deal. Stylistically, I love this fight against Machida. Machida is very evasive, he strikes from different angles, he’s hard to hit. I’ll say it again, I guess: if Jon Jones goes in and runs through Machida like he has everybody else, the sky’s the limit for this kid. … I know a lot of people have said, ‘Oh, why is Machida getting this shot?’ Listen, Lyoto Machida’s been around a long time, went undefeated for years and is stylistically very tough to match up with. I think this is a fun fight.”
Jones and Machida will meet on December 10 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario for the UFC’s second foray into the area since MMA was legalized in the province last year.