Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida was unexpectedly handed a title shot against Jon Jones when it turned out that the champ’s original opponent, Rashad Evans, would be unable to face him for being injured.
Coming off of a crane kick knockout over Hall of Famer Randy Couture, Machida is looking to reestablish his briefly-held reign over the light heavyweight champion by taking out the wunderkind, Jon Jones.
“I’m really excited to be fighting for the light heavyweight title again,” Machida said. “Jon Jones is a great fighter and a great champion. It’s going to be my experience and technique against his youth and athleticism. It’s going to be a great fight.”
Though some argue Machida isn’t the most deserving candidate for a shot at the belt at the moment, UFC president Dana White sees the former champ’s unique and frustrating style posing problem test to the 24-year-old belt holder.
“After his performance against Rampage, there’s no doubt that Jon Jones is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport,” said White. “He’s already beaten Shogun and Rampage this year and now he gets Machida, a former champion. Machida is one of the most elusive and dangerous strikers in the UFC and he’s motivated to get the belt back. We’re giving the fans in Toronto a really great title fight.”
UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida goes down on December 10 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario.