This Saturday, Dana White and crew will make their way to the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario for UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida. When this event was first announced, Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis were rumored to be the main event but it was eventually revealed that Davis was still recovering from a knee injury and would not be fighting. Later, it was thought that Jon Jones would defend his title against Rashad Evans, but that, too, was shut down due to a thumb injury in the Evans camp. Let’s take a look at the current main card and break it down.
The first bout on the PPV broadcast will be a Featherweight fight between Mark “The Machine” Hominick (20-9) and “The Korean Zombie” Chan-Sung Jung (11-3). The last time we saw Hominick was in a losing effort in a title fight with Jose Aldo that left him with an abnormally large hematoma on his forehead. Although he lost a decision, he was the first man to actually mount some offense on Aldo in quite some time. Jung, on the other hand, is coming off an impressive submission victory over Leonard Garcia in their rematch from WEC 48. In the first fight, Jung lost a close, and somewhat controversial, decision, but in the second fight he didn’t allow the fight to go the distance as he locked in a Twister late in the second round. Hominick, who is predominantly a striker, will have to keep Jung at a distance and prevent him from taking this fight to the ground where he is more comfortable.
Next up is a Welterweight battle between Toronto native Claude “The Prince” Patrick (14-1) as he fills in for an injured Rory MacDonald to face Brian “Bad Boy” Ebersole (48-14-1). Patrick is currently riding a 13-fight win streak, dating back to 2002, and is currently 3-0 in the UFC. Ebersole, who is also undefeated in the UFC thus far, may very well be his toughest opponent to-date and he’ll definitely have his hands full. Ebersole has a very unorthodox fighting style and is a very well-rounded fighter who seems to be comfortable wherever the fight may go. With forty-six finishes between the two of them, this fight will definitely not be one to sleep on.
The next fight is a battle between Light Heavyweight legends as “The People Champ” Tito Ortiz (16-9-1) faces off against “Little Nog” Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-5). After not having won a fight in five years, Tito reignited his career by submitting Ryan Bader in less than two minutes of the first round. However, just one month later, Rashad Evans killed his momentum in their rematch by defeating him via TKO late in the second round. Little Nog made a name for himself, along with his twin brother, in by going through the PRIDE fighting circuit. He was introduced to the newer fans back at UFC 106 with a devastating knockout over Luiz Cane. He followed that up with a controversial decision victory over Jason Brilz at UFC 114. Since then he has dropped back-to-back decisions and will look to avoid a third loss, and possibly his walking papers. With Tito nearing the end of his career he claims to have “two big fights left in him” and this could definitely be one of them. Their contrasting styles should make for an interesting battle of wills.
The Co-Main Event of the evening is a rematch between former Heavyweight Champions and TUF 8 coaches Frank Mir (15-5) and “Big Nog” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-6-1). In their first bout, following the conclusion of TUF 8, Mir became the first man to finish Big Nog and was also crowned the new UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion. Shortly after the fight, it was revealed that Nog had been suffering from a severe staph infection and had also tweaked his knee during his training camp, which he stated had affected his performance. Since then, Mir has adamantly discredited the effect of the staph infection on Nog’s performance and is confident he can put on a repeat performance the second time around. With both fighters being great grapplers and decent strikers, you never know what will happen. The winner of this fight will boost their stock in the Heavyweight Title picture for sure.
The Main Event of the evening features current Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones (14-1) defends his belt against former Champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (17-2). Since making his UFC debut back in August 2008, Jon Jones has finished six of his nine fights and has really not been tested thus far. In Machida’s first UFC title fight, he faced a Rashad Evans that was on a similar hot streak and demolished him in exciting fashion. He has since gone 2-2, including a pair of fights with Mauricio Rua in which he lost the championship and is now fighting to regain. Jon Jones’ ability to throw strikes from crazy and odd angles will definitely cause problems for Machida’s counter-striking style. The biggest obstacle that Machida will have to overcome will be the massive reach advantage that Jones possesses. With Jones being able to attack from any given angle, Machida may have to abandon his usual counter-striking style and work to get inside Jones’ reach. Thus far, Jones has lived up to the hype and it will now fall on the shoulders of Machida to derail the train from its tracks.
As usual, before the PPV action starts, the first few preliminary bouts will be aired on Facebook. However, because the UFC is no longer in contract with SpikeTV, the last four prelims before the PPV will be aired on Ion Television.
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