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Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans targeted for UFC 140 headliner in Toronto
UFC 140 appears to have a main event.
UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and top contender Rashad Evans (16-1-1 MMA, 11-1-1 UFC) are expected to headline the December event in Toronto.
MMAjunkie.com today confirmed the tentative plans with a source close to the event. MMAFighting.com first reported the planned booking.
UFC 140 takes place Dec. 10 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The night's main card, including the five-round headliner, airs on pay-per-view.
This past weekend, White told MMAjunkie.com that despite Jones entering a post-UFC 135 conference wrapped in ice packs and hobbling, he was good to go (though he planned to give the fighters some rest).
"He's good," White, who recently met with the 24-year-old champ, said. "He's 100 percent. I talked to him [on Saturday], and he said he feels great. The only thing that's sore on him is his calf. It's a little sore."
Evans, who scored a TKO victory over Tito Ortiz on Aug. 6, was brought into the cage to hype his upcoming title fight with the champ.
With a budding rivalry with Quinton Jackson, Jones' UFC 135 fight did big business. The event drew the third-largest attendance of the year and also scored a healthy $2.1 million gate. Jones and Jackson's real-life rivalry provided plenty of storylines and brought significant media attention to the pay-per-view event.
But the buzz could see new heights with Evans, a former training partner who had a high-profile split with Team Jackson-Winkeljohn and head trainer Greg Jackson because of Jones. The fighters have bickered in the media, and their rivalry has been one of the year's biggest stories.
Jones enters the grudge match with five straight victories, including a title win over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and the successful title defense against Jackson. In fact, his only career loss came early in his UFC career to Matt Hamill after Jones' was questionably disqualified due to illegal "12-to-6" elbow strikes. Jones otherwise dominated the December 2009 fight.
Evans, a former champ, is 3-0 since losing his title to Lyoto Machida in 2009. The recent wins have come over Thiago Silva, Jackson and Ortiz. A planned bout with Jones earlier this year fell apart due to the champ's uncertain health status. Evans went on to defeat Ortiz (a replacement for injured Phil Davis) while Jones ultimately was booked against Jackson.
I think it might be time for a new reign... that would be Jones.
Of course it looked like Machida was going to be it also.
Jones is definitely one of the tops in the game today and he is in his prime being so young he could go on for a while.
gonna be a badass fight. two of UFC fastest guys. But if i had to pick id say Jones has it. but i think its gonna go to the cards.