Top MMA News Breaks Down UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida
The UFC is back in Toronto for the second time in 2011 as they make their way to the Air Canada Center on December 10th. The event is headlined by Light Heavyweight Champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones defending his belt for the second time against former champion, Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida. The main card will be live on Pay-Per-View.
Now for the breakdown:
Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones (14-1) vs. Lyoto Machida (17-2)
Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones returns against former Champion Lyoto Machida. Jones has walked through his competition in the UFC and few future opponents look like they are going to be able to match up with him. Machida has the potential to be the toughest test of his career depending on which Machida we see. The Brazilian looked like his former self against MMA legend Randy Couture earlier this year in Toronto, finishing the fight with a crane kick knockout. If he can bring the very elusiveness that made him the best in the world, he may be the man to dethrone Jones. Jones has some of the most ridiculous athleticism in MMA and brings that into every fight. He made Rampage and Shogun look like children and those are two of the greatest in the division’s history. He impresses viewers more and more with every fight and he should be prepared to do the same. Jones has the perfect frame for his Muay Thai and should be able to land some excellent elbows and kicks. Lyoto will give him a tough time and try to throw leg kicks and surprise him with takedown attempts. He should not have the same trouble as Jones’ past opponents and should be able to get inside the reach and get some solid shots in. He should be able to do more damage than most but Jones will look to clinch on the fence and do his usual work as he keeps his distance and picks his spots as he comes out on top with the TKO victory.
Prediction: Jones via TKO Round 3
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-6-1) vs. Frank Mir (15-5)
The rematch is on and Nogueira looks prepared to prove he is back after his unexpected knockout victory over Brendan Schaub. Frank Mir is coming off of two straight big wins over Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ and Roy Nelson; however, both fights were criticized by many. Mir has an opportunity to win over some fans again and prove his skills if he can beat Nogueira for a second time. Many believe that the first loss (which was the first time Nogueira had ever been stopped in his career) occurred because of a staph infection bothering the Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend. Mir has a great overall skill set and can beat almost anybody in the Heavyweight division. Both men made their marks in MMA as outstanding BJJ practitioners and have proven that constantly. Nogueira is more proven on the ground and has always had great boxing but his biggest issue is that he takes far too much damage to last at this point in his career. Mir is definitely the better striker and has shown a lot of power against guys like Mirko and Cheick Kongo. Nogueira must avoid taking a lot of damage and prepare himself for a boxing match but he has to stay patient. He needs to catch Mir who has never liked taking damage and manage to outbox him, something he couldn’t even do to Schaub before coming out victorious. Mir will likely throw plenty of kicks and slow Nogueira as best he can. He will change levels plenty of times and stop the surge of the legend by way of decision.
Prediction: Mir via Unanimous Decision
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-5) vs. Tito Ortiz (16-9-1)
Two veterans of the sport finally meet after being matched up earlier this year. Tito Ortiz is coming off of a TKO loss to Rashad Evans and is looking to make a second major comeback after upsetting Ryan Bader back in July. Rogerio Nogueira is fighting on the same card as his twin brother as they are both looking for big wins against UFC legends. Tito has the better wrestling but there is little evidence that he is the better grappler in this fight. Nogueira can sweep anybody in MMA and has some of the most underrated BJJ in the UFC. Tito is not the same wrestler that he used to be and after watching Ryan Bader, Phil Davis and nearly Jason Brilz defeat Nogueira with their wrestling, it is tough to see Ortiz doing the same. Ortiz is not the same fighter he used to be but it is starting to seem like he is having a lot more fun in the cage. He put up a fight against one of the best Light Heavyweights in Evans and beat a high level prospect, Ryan Bader, in impressive fashion. The striking battle between the two should be a lot of fun to watch. Nogueira has very strong boxing and did formerly box professionally in Brazil and had plenty of success. Tito has always been known for his monstrous ground and pound but his stand up has always been pretty decent. He is able to take a lot of damage but do some damage of his own effectively. He also possesses a strong guillotine which he used to submit Bader and almost tapped Evans out as well. If he has the opportunity to, he will use it on Nogueira as we seen Brilz attempt and almost succeed with against the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. This could very well be fight of the night as it is the most even match up. Nogueira will work his boxing to attack different levels of Ortiz. He should be able to find a bit of consistency in the stand up forcing Ortiz to work for takedowns. Nogueira should be able to take the back of Ortiz and sink in a choke for a late victory.
Prediction: Nogueira via Read Naked Choke Round 3
Mark Hominick (20-9) vs. Chan Sung Jung (11-3)
A fight many are looking forward two because it consists of two guys that have been known to go to war as soon as the Octagon door closes. Mark Hominick is coming off of his extremely resilient loss to Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo and is prepared to climb the ladder for another shot at the title. Chan Sung Jung is coming off of his first victory in North America, avenging his WEC debut loss to Leonard Garcia. Jung (better known as the Korean Zombie) is one of the most unique fighters in MMA. He never stops moving forward and as soon as he began to look like he was purely a brawler, he pulled off the first ever twister in UFC history in his promotional debut. These guys have no fear to stand right in front of each other and just swing for the fences. It is not about losing for either fighter, it is about putting on a show. Both men will have points where they are backed up to the cage as bombs start landing. Hominick is the crisper striker but that may not mean he will win the striking battle. It should be a fight of the year candidate as both men are ready to put on a show for the Canadian crowd. Hominick should be able to look like the more effective striker as he lands the cleaner shots. Get ready for this brawl to turn out as expected.
Prediction: Hominick via Unanimous Decision
Claude Patrick (14-1) vs. Brian Ebersole (48-14-1)
Unfortunately, we were supposed to witness one of the best Welterweight prospects in the world in Rory MacDonald in this slot. Having Claude Patrick replace him is not all that bad. Patrick finally gets a step up in competition as he goes up against the awkward but very talented veteran, Brian Ebersole. Both men have been extremely impressive in the UFC as they have dominated their competition. Patrick has looked very tough in his three fights in the promotion and has been showing off his great grappling so far. He has excellent top position and can manage a choke from any dominant position. If he is able to control Ebersole, it would truly show how talented he is. Ebersole is a long time veteran of the sport but only recently made his debut with the promotion, impressively controlling Chris Lytle with his unique striking to a decision. He most recently defeated Dennis Hallman in a dominant performance and had the opportunity to display solid ground and pound. This fight will likely turn out to be a grappling contest between two guys that are looking to make a bit of noise in the division. Ebersole is the more experienced fighter and he will likely use that to his advantage. Patrick will look for submissions from the bottom but with any mistake he makes Ebersole will take advantage of and start landing big shots as he works his way to a big decision win.
Prediction: Ebersole via Unanimous Decision