Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011 | 2 p.m.
- Jon Jones will fight Lyoto Machida at UFC 140
- Jon Jones immediately bombarded with Rashad Evans talk after UFC 135 win
- Trash talk between Jon Jones, Rampage Jackson intensifies UFC 135
- Randy Couture hospitalized but upbeat after loss to Lyoto Machida
- Defensive-minded Machida looks forward to title defenses
- Las Vegas' Frank Mir completes journey
- All MMA/boxing coverage
Although UFC 140 will take place at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, the event has a decided America vs. Brazil feel.
The three headlining bouts on the pay-per-view card, slated for Dec. 10, feature famous Brazilian fighters challenging American foes.
“I can overcome his athleticism with my technique,” Machida said through a translator at a press conference to announce the event earlier this year.
The 33-year old Machida, who is only 1-2 in his last three fights, was an unexpected opponent for the 24-year old mixed martial arts phenom.
The UFC announced Rashad Evans as Jones’ next fight, but an injury prevented Evans from taking the championship bout this quickly. In an attempt to assure that UFC 140 had a meaningful main event, the opportunity fell to Machida.
Machida has spent most of 2011 out of action after defeating Randy Couture via second round knockout at UFC 129.
“Lyoto has been around for a long time, gone undefeated for years and is stylistically very tough to match up with,” UFC President Dana White said. “I think this is a fun fight.”
Jones would agree. He said he was looking forward to facing Machida because of the respect they shared for each other.
Jones got into a long-lasting war of words with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson before his last fight — which Jones won via fourth round submission — and has also mixed it up verbally with Evans. But Jones says trash talk is unnatural for him.
“Some people like more of that warrior spirit, more of that discipline and honor,” Jones said. “Other people like a little more of that cagefighter, ‘ I’m going to knock you out ’-type stuff.”
A heavyweight well known for his trash talk will warm the octagon for Jones in UFC 140’s co-main event. Las Vegas native Frank Mir (15-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC) meets Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-6-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in a rematch of their memorable UFC 92 encounter.
Mir knocked out the heavily favored Nogueira at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. But Nogueira later revealed he dealt with a serious knee injury and staph infection during the training camp leading up to the fight.
“He had a few issues before the fight that he felt really hampered his performance,” Mir said recently, “so I feel there’s an opportunity for him to basically put up or shut up.”
Nogueira’s twin brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC), is also in a featured fight on the card. He meets Tito Ortiz (16-9-1 MMA, 15-9-1 UFC) in a matchup between two desperate light heavyweights.
Both fighters have only gone 1-2 since 2010 and need a victory to make their UFC roster spot more secure.
Check below for a rundown of the rest of the bouts at UFC 140.
Welterweight Bout: Claude Patrick (14-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) vs. Brian Ebersole (48-14-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) Patrick fills in for prospect Rory MacDonald, who suffered a training injury, to fight in front of his hometown for the second time this year.
Featherweight Bout: Mark Hominick (20-9 MMA, 3-1 UFC) vs. Chan Sung Jung (11-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) A long-awaited bout between two of the 145-pound division’s more exciting fighters. Hominick stole the show in the UFC’s first Toronto trip despite losing a unanimous decision in a championship bout against Jose Aldo.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Krzysztof Soszynski (26-11-2 MMA. 6-2 UFC) vs. Igor Pokrajac (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) These two veterans are hungry to find the top tier of the 205-pound division after spending most of their careers somewhere in the middle.
Middleweight Bout: Jared Hamman (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) vs. Constantinos Philippou (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) Hamman and Philippou are off upset victories against C.B. Dollaway and Jorge Rivera, respectively.
Lightweight Bout: John Makdessi (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) vs. Dennis Hallman (50-14-2 MMA, 3-5 UFC) A tried fighter like Hallman should be a good test to figure out whether or not Makdessi is a legitimate prospect.
Bantamweight Bout: Yves Jabouin (16-7 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Walel Watson (9-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) Watson burst onto the UFC 135-pound landscape with a knockout of Joseph Sandoval a minute into their UFC on Versus 6 meeting.
Lightweight Bout: Mark Bocek (9-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) vs. Nik Lentz (21-3-2 MMA, 5-0-1 UFC) Lentz still hasn’t lost a fight in four years after the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission overturned a defeat to Charles Oliveira at UFC on Versus 4 to a no contest because of an illegal knee.
Welterweight Bout: Rich Attonito (10-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) vs. Jake Hecht (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) The 34-year old Attonito makes his second appearance at 170 pounds after dropping from middleweight.
Lightweight Bout: Mitch Clarke (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. John Cholish (7-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) This is the first of six fights that pair a Canadian, Clarke, against an American, Cholish, on the card.