After two proposed headlining bouts quickly fell apart, the UFC decided to go in an entirely different direction for UFC 140. In a surprising development, UFC President Dana White announced Thursday that the event will be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between reigning champion Jon "Bones" Jones (14-1) and former champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida (17-2). White confirmed the news with this tweet.
Machida was first rumored to be on the card in late September, after White announced a matchup between the Brazilian and rising prospect Phil Davis. However, the UFC President immediately reneged on the news upon learning that Davis was still recovering from a devastating July knee surgery. Similarly, reports surfaced on Wednesday announcing that Jones and Rashad Evans had been tabbed as the main event of UFC 140, before White was again forced to debunk the rumors due to a reported hand injury from the former champion.
Evans' title shot now belongs to Machida, apparently, despite "The Dragon" having dropped two of his last three fights. Hailing from the notorious Black House training center, the 33-year-old finally returned to his winning ways in spectacular fashion at UFC 129, earning "Knockout of the Night" honors for a Hollywood-esque jumping front kick knockout of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture.
Meanwhile, Jones eyes a quick return after successfully defending his light heavyweight title for the first time with a fourth-round smashing of Quinton Jackson at UFC 135. Despite the dominant nature of his win, the young champion earned a six-month suspension following the event due to post-fight injuries, though a 45-day out clause kicks-in if Jones manages to acquire physican clearance.