UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones has an official opponent for his next title-defense but, as it turns out, he won’t be facing Rashad Evans. Rather, Jones will lock horns with Lyoto Machida on December 10 at UFC 140 as the main event of a stacked card already featuring Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir.
The UFC announced the pairing earlier today. Evans, who was next in line for a shot at his former teammate’s belt, was unable to accept the fight after undergoing a procedure to repair damage in his hand suffered during an August win over Ortiz.
While Machida may not make for an ideal opponent given his recent record the former 205-pound champion should make for an interesting match-up from a stylistic standpoint. Only 2-2 in his last four fights with one win involving a questionable decision over Mauricio Rua and the other a beatdown of Randy Couture, “The Dragon” holds an overall record of 17-2 with impressive wins in the past over Evans, Ortiz, and Thiago Silva.
Jones has been untouchable for the most part since bursting onto the UFC scene three years ago. He is 14-1 in his career with the only loss involving a disqualification after landing an illegal elbow in a bout he was clearly en route to winning. The 24-year old New Yorker is coming off submission success against Quinton Jackson in September, the first time “Rampage” had been finished in more than five years.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC