UFC 140: Jones vs Machida

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will hold its next event, UFC 140, this Saturday, December 10th, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The main event will be a light heavyweight championship fight scheduled for five rounds.  The original bout was to be between current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Rashad Evans, but when evans had to pull out due to a thumb injury, Lyoto Machida got his opportunity.

Here is a review of the main event, and other fights on the main card that Dana White and the UFC have scheduled for UFC 140: Jones vs Machida.

The main event – Light Heavyweight Championship bout:  Jon “Bones” Jones (14-1-0) vs Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (17-2-0)

UFC light heavyweight fighter Jon JonesJon Jones became the youngest UFC champion in history at 23 years old when he won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship earlier this year.  He has been training in MMA since 2007.  He caught the attention of the UFC by going 6-0 after turning professional, even though he was only three months into his MMA career.  His only loss to date was a disqualification, and this will be his second title defense. Jones was a national junior college wrestling champion, and is also well-rounded in Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, Taekwondo, Greco-Roman Wrestling, and Gaidojutsu.  Jones has a tall frame at 6’4″, but likes to take his opponents down.  Once on top, he has vicious elbows he is not afraid to throw, and has accumulated 8 of his 14 wins by KO/TKO.  He has won two of his last fights by submission as he becomes a more well-rounded MMA fighter.  Only two of his fights have gone to a decision.  He is very good at avoiding strikes himself, and has never been taken down.  Perhaps it has to do with his long frame and his 84.5″ reach, which is the longest in UFC history.  Expect Jones to try and get his opponent to the ground and throw down elbows until he gets another TKO.  Or he may attempt another submission from the ground once he wears his opponent down.

UFC Light Heavyweight Fighter Lyoto MachidaLyoto Machida started his MMA career 16-0.  He is also a former UFC light heavyweight champion, and after losing two fights in a row, won his most recent fight by KO, giving him this opportunity to fight again for the championship.  Machida is a Shotokan Karate expert, trained by his father since the age of 3, and is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and skilled in Sumo.  He has a very unique way of fighting, in that he counter-attacks his opponents.  He relies on timing and accuracy, and likes to frustrate his opponents by defending against their strikes and takedown attempts.  Because he is not the aggressor, many believe Machida is a boring fighter, but he is very successful, and has won 9 out of 10 fights that have gone the distance.  Of his 17 victories, six have come by way of KO.  He is an accurate puncher with some power, but also has powerful kicks.  Machida is also good at defending the takedown.  He would like to keep this fight standing, and use his legs to keep his distance and set up his counter punches.  This will be a tough fight for Machida to keep away from his opponent and try to win by decision after five complete rounds.  If the fight goes into the later rounds, Machida may have to come out of his comfort zone, become aggressive, and try to secure a KO/TKO.

Heavyweight bout: Frank Mir (15-5-0) vs Minotauro Nogueira (33-6-1, 1NC)

UFC Heavyweight fighter Frank MirFrank Mir has been fighting in the UFC since the age of 22, and has held the UFC heavyweight title twice.  His last two losses have been for the heavyweight championship, but since his most recent loss, Mir has won his last two fights.  He is looking for his third opportunity at getting a title shot.  Mir was a state champion wrestler in high school, and was brought up in martial arts because his father owned a martial arts school. Mir is a student of MMA, training in Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, as well as holding a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kempo Karate.  He is surprising agile for a heavyweight, but sometimes will not come into a fight in top physical condition.  Mir is a submission expert, and has won 8 of 15 fights by way of submission. Surprisingly, he has only won two fights by KO/TKO with punches, with one of them being against Nogueira in 2008.  Where Mir gets into trouble is his defense, which is unexpected given his background and expertise in wrestling and MMA.  All 5 of his losses have come by way of KO/TKO due to punches.  He doesn’t seem to weather the storm very well, and both his defense against the strike and against the takedown are horrible. Only two fights in his entire MMA career have gone the distance, and I don’t see this fight making it that far.  if Mir wants another opportunity at the heavyweight championship, he will need to show better defense, take his opponent down, and go for a submission.

UFC Heavyweight fighter Minotauro NogueiraMinotauro Nogueira is known for having excellent stamina.  He is also a great Jiu-Jitsu tactician and boxer.  He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo.  Twenty of his 33 wins have been by submission and 10 have been by decision. Nogueira only has 3 KO/TKO’s in his twelve year career.  He has the distinction of being the first Pride Heavyweight Champion, and is the only fighter in history to hold the Pride and UFC heavyweight titles.  Nogueira has been looking for this rematch for three years, and can take more punishment than a normal fighter.  He is tough, resilient, and just will not quit no matter what.  He has been known for his comebacks after it looks like he is beaten, so you can’t ever count him out.  He is not overly effective in his strikes, but likes to fight on his feet.  He could also improve his striking defense.  He is not too successful with his takedown attempts, but doesn’t typically want to take the fight to the ground.  He only avoids takedowns about half the time.  His best bet in this fight may be to take the same approach as his opponent, go for a takedown and look for the submission.  He is looking for a different result than the last time they fought.

Light Heavyweight bout: Tito “The People’s Champ” Ortiz (17-9-1) vs Antonio Rogerio “Little Nog” Nogueira (19-5-0)

UFC Light Heavyweight Fighter Tito OrtizIn his last seven fights, Tito Ortiz is 1-5-1, and seems to be winding down on an illustrious career that helped developed the UFC to what it is today.  After this fight, he has one fight left on his UFC contract.  Although he is only 36, he has had several serious injuries and multiple surgeries, and he may be considering retirement.  Ortiz was a wrestler in high school and college, and has been fighting in the UFC for 14 years.  He has taken on all-comers, and has had some of the most memorable fights in UFC history.  He holds the record for holding the UFC light heavyweight belt longer than any other fighter.  Ortiz has eight knockouts in his 17 wins, with five other wins by decision.  Of his nine losses, four have been by decision.  Being mainly a wrestler and boxer, look for Ortiz to try and take the fight to the ground.  He has a killer instinct with his ground and pound, and can finish a fight quickly.  Ortiz needs to be more cautious than he has been in the past, and wait for his opportunity to make his move.  In the meantime, he needs to defend against the strike.  Ortiz shouldn’t have to worry about his opponent attempting to take him down. If Ortiz decides to throw caution to the wind and make this an all-out brawl, look for this fight to contend for fight of the night honors.

UFC Light Heavyweight Antonio Rogerio NogueiraAntonio Rogerio Nogueira is a boxer and black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  He is the identical twin brother of Minotauro Nogueira, who is also fighting at UFC 140. In addition to his MMA career, Nogueira was an accomplished amateur boxer for several years.  Nogueira fought in Pride from ’02 to ’07, and after amassing an overall 17-3 MMA record, he had his first opportunity to fight in the UFC in ’09. He won his first two fights in the UFC, but recently has lost his last two fights, and is eager to get back on the winning track.  Eight of his wins have been by decision, with six wins coming by submission, and five by KO/TKO.  Four of his five losses have been by decision, and he has only been knocked out once in his eleven year career.  Nogueira is a standup fighter who will look to outbox his opponent.  He will probably not even attempt a takedown during the fight.  He is decent at defending the strike and pretty good at avoiding being taken down.  This will be a classic fight between Nogueira the boxer, and Ortiz the wrestler.  If Nogueira can keep the fight standing, he should be able to out box Ortiz and win by submission.

Below is the list of the remaining UFC fights on the card for UFC 140 Jones vs Machida:

Main Event (Pay Per View)

  • Welterweight bout: Claude Patrick vs. Brian Ebersole
  • Featherweight bout: Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung

Preliminary card (Facebook)

  • Lightweight bout: Mitch Clarke vs. John Cholish
  • Welterweight bout: Rich Attonito vs. Jake Hecht
  • Lightweight bout: Mark Bocek vs. Nik Lentz

Preliminary card (televised)

  • Bantamweight bout: Yves Jabouin vs. Walel Watson
  • Catchweight (158.5lb) bout: John Makdessi vs. Dennis Hallman
  • Middleweight bout: Jared Hamman vs. Constantinos Philippou
  • Light Heavyweight bout: Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Igor Pokrajac
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~ by Troy Erickson on December 10, 2011.

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