UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will headline UFC 140 after all, but will face former champion Lyoto Machida, not rival Rashad Evans, in the main event of the December 10 event in Toronto while Evans recovers from hand surgery, UFC Preisdent Dana White announced today.
Jones (14-1) successfully defended his title for the first time less than two weeks ago with a fourth-round submission of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135 and Evans was immediately announced as his next challenger.
However, Evans was unable to return in time to face Jones at UFC 140 as he continues to recover from a hand injury from his August win over Tito Ortiz. According to Heavy.com, Evans had the pins removed from his hand on Wednesday and needs three more weeks of rest before he can resume training.
Instead, Jones will fight for the fourth time in 2011 on just two-and-a-half months rest when he takes on Machida (17-2), who has remained on the sidelines since snapping a two-fight losing streak with a knockout of Randy Couture in April after the UFC denied his request for “Anderson Silva money” to rematch Evans on short-notice at UFC 133.
Evans is expected to wait to fight the winner of Jones vs. Machida in 2012.
UFC 140 also features a rematch between former heavyweight champions Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.