Former UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida has leapfrogged top contender Rashad Evans and is now next in line for a shot at current title-holder Jon Jones. The talented 205ers will meet in Toronto where they will headline UFC 140.
The UFC announced the bout earlier today with a follow-up press release from Evans’ camp shortly thereafter explaining he was still recovering from a dislocated thumb requiring pins and wouldn’t be ready to fight in time for the December 10 show.
Machida started off his career with sixteen straight wins including success against Rich Franklin, Tito Ortiz, Thiago Silva, and Evans who he took the belt from with a brutal knockout at UFC 98. He holds an overall record of 17-2 with his most recent outing resulting in an amazing front-kick finish of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture.
“Bones” has already fought three times in 2011 with dominating performances against Ryan Bader, Mauricio Rua, and Quinton Jackson – all stoppages. He holds an overall record of 14-1 (the loss being a fluke disqualification) with eight TKOs and four submissions.
UFC 140 will also feature Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira facing Frank Mir and Ortiz taking on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Canadians Mark Bocek, Mark Hominick, and Rory MacDonald are also scheduled for action at the event.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: Though over the last few years Machida has been far from the unbeatable force he was once perceived as, this is still a fantastic match-up given Evans’ status on the sidelines and the lack of go-to options. Machida is highly-respected, brings a unique/challenge style with him into the cage, and is a former champion meaning a win over him is still significant no matter how he might have fared in his previous 3-4 fights. The UFC may not be looking to put 55,000 people in an arena again as they did the last time they went to Toronto but they’re sure booking this card like they want to!