Many people, maybe even Lyoto Machida himself, thought that UFC president Dana White put “The Dragon” on ice for his refusal to fight Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 133 when Phil Davis fell out due to injury.
Those that felt that way can now rest assured that is not the case as White on Thursday announced that Machida will return, and in a big way.
“Alright Toronto!!! Dec 10th UFC 140 tix go on sale next weekend and ur main event is Bones Jones vs Machida!!!” he tweeted.
Machida (17-2) hasn’t fought since rebounding from back-to-back losses with a second-round knockout of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture at UFC 129 in Toronto. But just like that, he’ll return both to Toronto and to title contention in facing Jon Jones in the Dec. 10 main event.
Jones (14-1) enters the fight fresh off of a fourth-round submission of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135 on Sept. 24 in Denver.
The plan had been for Jones to face Rashad Evans in his next title defense, but the timing put a crimp in those plans.
The UFC is in desperate need of a solid headlining bout for UFC 140, and the majority of its other starts are already locked into fights. Evans, who has waited patiently for a shot at getting the belt back, suffered a hand injury in his fight with Tito Ortiz at UFC 133 that required surgery and pins. The pins have been removed, but the timeframe for his rehab wouldn’t allow adequate time to prepare for a Dec. 10 date with Jones.