UFC 140 Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida: This Ain't Your Daddy's Dragon

Sabir Abdul-HaqqContributor IDecember 8, 2011

He may have a SERIOUS uphill battle this Saturday, but methinks we'll see a different Dragon.
He may have a SERIOUS uphill battle this Saturday, but methinks we'll see a different Dragon.Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Denzel Washington said it best in Training Day: "This is chess...it ain't checkers".

UFC 140 on Saturday highlights a championship fight, pitting Jonny "Bones" Jones against Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida, which, in my opinion, is exactly the type of match the UFC needs right now.

I was hoping for the best for Rampage, but this coming matchup will definitely be the toughest test of JBJ.

And for those of you who say, "Well, Jones already demolished Shogun (who defeated Machida at UFC 113) and Rampage (who defeated Machida via decision at UFC 123)," that's another match entirely. Bones is squaring off with the man who trains with the man who is probably his only true opposition in mixed martial arts: Anderson Silva.

It's hard to argue that there are many cerebral opponents in the already strategic sport of mixed martial arts that are of Machida's caliber.

What excites me most about this matchup is a unique take on the proverbial wedge meets wall, the difference being that either opponent can interchangeably be the wedge or the wall at any time.

Jones has shown exemplary athleticism and a seemingly spacious gas tank, especially when feeling out opponents during grappling, and a fearsome ability of finding opportunities to end it there.

Machida has shown time and again that his ability to counterstrike is unparalleled; he will not waste a single move, in or out of the clinch, and he has solid instincts on some damaging offense.


So, what's stopping Jones from cartwheeling his way to another victory?

Machida's accuracy.

Despite the fact that he's almost a ruler's length away from JBJ's wingspan, Lyoto's an assassin firing from all eight limbs with a consistent striking percentage north of 89 percent. He'll have to at least be 10.5" closer to Jones, who's farther than the two-to-four-inch reach difference Lyoto's accustomed to.

What does this mean for us, the MMA fan/viewer/enthusiast?

Prepare to see a completely different, far more offensive Dragon (read: less "boring"), a challenger who knows he's under-reaching a champ who is 12-for-14 in not letting fights go the distance.

I'm pumped. How about you?


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