As if the fallout from UFC 151 being cancelled wasn’t already insane enough, it appears things have taken another strange turn after light heavyweight Lyoto Machida turned down the opportunity to face champion Jon Jones in a little under a month at the organization’s upcoming event in Toronto. No reason was given for his decision though it seems likely timing was the culprit.
However, while Machida may be off the table it looks like Jones will still be fighting an accomplished Brazilian on September 22 at the “new” UFC 151, as Vitor Belfort has stepped up and will serve as the 25-year old’s opponent at the show.
News of the change was confirmed this morning by UFC officials.
Belfort, who hasn’t fought at 205 pounds in a number of years, is currently riding a two-fight winning streak at middleweight. He holds an overall record of 21-9 including past victories over the likes of Wanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin. Prior to signing the agreement to take on Jones he had been booked against Alan Belcher on an October card in Brazil.
Jones-Belfort will serve as the evening’s headliner with other featured fights including Demetrious Johnson-Joseph Benavidez for the flyweight belt and a title-eliminator between Brian Stann-Michael Bisping.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC