Injury once again costs Rashad Evans a light heavyweight title shot
Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion, will be there, but instead to defending against Evans, he’ll face former champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida; White made the announcement via Twitter.
Moving Machida into the challenger position opposite Jones comes as a surprise, as Evans was brought into the cage to face-off with Jones following his win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135 just two weeks ago. White has stated on numerous occasions that Evans was next in line to challenge Jones for the 205 pound championship, but that has now changed.
Evans broke his thumb during his bout with Tito Ortiz at UFC 133. He had surgery on Wednesday afternoon to have the pins doctors had inserted into the broken appendage removed, and was cleared to return to training in three weeks. That would not give him adequate time to prepare for the December 10 event in Canada’s largest city, and instead of pushing back Jones’ next title defense, the UFC has decided to move on with Machida in Evans’ place.
The match-up between Jones and Machida is an intriguing one, as Machida is a very different fighter than anyone Jones has faced to date. His unorthodox style of counter-fighting is a difficult riddle to solve, but one the studious and creative Jones has surely already began breaking down.
UFC 140 takes place Saturday, December 10 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Tickets go on sale next week.
Keep checking Heavy MMA for all your UFC 140 fight announcements and more on this story as it continues to develop.