It's hard to believe that another major UFC event is upon us, but UFC 140 is just days away. Emanating from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the UFC's second visit to what could be MMA's biggest fan base features Jon Jones making the second defense of the UFC light heavyweight title against the ever-elusive Lyoto Machida.
Other high-profile main card bouts include a pivotal rematch between former heavyweight champions and opposing "TUF" coaches Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira as well as Tito Ortiz attempting to stave off retirement once more against the younger Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
After the jump is a preview of the main card, including a breakdown of the storylines leading into each fight as well as what to look for during the bouts.
Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida
The fight: Jones makes his second title defense against Machida, who earned the shot with a highlight-reel knockout of Randy Couture, but is more than likely in this spot because of a lack of challengers and an injury bug that has been plaguing the UFC for nearly a year now. It'll be a clash of Jones' creative striking and powerful wrestling against Machida's elusive stand-up style formed from his years practicing karate.
What to look for: No one to date has given Jones much of a challenge. Machida's style has proven hard to handle for all but two of his opponents and he may have what it takes to keep Jones at bay, at least for a while. However, like he always does, Jones holds a massive reach advantage over his opponent, so Machida may have to adapt a modified style in order to get inside and give Jones trouble.
Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
The fight: Mir and Nogueira meet in a rematch years in the making. Mir shocked Nogueira and the world in December 2008 when he became the first man to stop the Brazilian in his career. Others have done so since, but the feat was a remarkable accomplishment at the time and a massive upset. Following the bout, news spread that Nogueira suffered from an infection during the bout and wasn't 100%. Mir has wanted to prove he is the better fighter for some time now while Nogueira wants a shot at avenging one of his greatest losses.
What to look for: Mir was able to out-strike Nogueira by a large margin the last time that they met. It was surprising since Nogueira while being an accomplished grappler, is also solid on his feet. Since then, Nogueira has proven that he still holds knockout power, but his footwork has slowed down considerably. He may want to consider taking this fight to the ground in order to stand a chance against Mir a second time.
Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
The fight: Ortiz will attempt to continue to steer his career back in the right direction against the younger of the Nogueira brothers, who has last two straight bouts and is looking to prevent being cut from the promotion with a win against yet another wrestler.
What to look for: Ortiz caught Ryan Bader with a good right hand, but he may be wary to stand with Nogueira, who has proven to be one of the better stand-up artists in the light heavyweight division. Ortiz's wrestling prowess isn't what it was once was, but Nogueira has shown to be susceptible to the takedown even against some unlikely opponents.
Brian Ebersole vs. Claude Patrick
The fight: Ebersole looks to continue his surprising run of success in the UFC against replacement opponent Claude Patrick, who has won all of his UFC bouts to date as well. Both men are well-rounded fighters, equally talented on the feet and both decorated grapplers on the ground.
What to look for: This is a fight that could take place everywhere. Both men are capable of handling themselves on the feet, but are more known for their talented ground games. It looks to be a battle of Ebersole's wrestling and top-game control against Patrick's slick bottom game and quick submissions.
Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung
The fight: Hominick will attempt to bounce back from a hard-fought unanimous decision loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 129 in his native Canada against Jung, a fan-favorite who snapped a two-fight losing streak with an impressive submission win in a rematch against rival Leonard Garcia in April.
What to look for: An absolute slugfest. Hominick is one of the more talented stand-up artists in the business and looks to keep his fights on the feet whenever possible. Have you seen Jung's epic war with Garcia the first time around? If so, do you think Jung will be willing to stand with Hominick? Enough said.
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