I was at a birthday party last night and I heard I’d be fighting Jon Jones. I accepted immediately, I couldn’t announce it at the time, though. Ed and Joinha told me to hold the information and it was complicated, I had to stop talking at all (laughs). In the morning I want to give a class and, when I came back, the contract was there for me to sign it. It was a reason for me to be happy, because that’s why we enter these battles for… It’ll be a strategic bout, he’s a guy who studies his opponents and so do I. Our team is a lot focused and anything can happen… It’s hard, he’s is much versatile and knows a lot of techniques, but we play a similar game. He kicks, I kick, he punches and goes to the ground, I can defend myself and take him down too. Stamina and game plan are things that could define this bout’s outcome. Nobody is invincible. We’re training for the best, looking for enlarging our body and mind and that’s what I’m gonna do.
— Lyoto Machida talking to Tatame about his newly signed title fight against Jon Jones at UFC 140
I’m not gonna lie, I’m not crazy about this fight given the circumstances (which makes me a “f-ing moron” apparently), but since it’s happening regardless of what I think, it’s certainly worth talking about.
My initial gut reaction is that Jones takes this one pretty easily. We know Machida likes to stay on the outside and pick at his opponents from range, but that’s going to be a much bigger challenge than normal given Jones’ extraordinary reach. Jones should also have the advantage in the clinch and while Machida is certainly capable on the ground, we don’t see him there much. To be honest, I’m not sure how Machida wins this fight, but it is an interesting clash of styles that could yield unpredictable results.
What do you think? Does Machida have the skill set to beat Jones? Or should he just drink a lot of urine and hope for the best?
Image via FIGHT! Magazine