On Thursday morning, UFC president Dana White announced light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (Pictured) would face Lyoto Machida at UFC 140. While some were surprised Jones was issued his next assignment just 12 days after making his first successful title defense, “Bones” is intrigued by the opportunity of running the trifecta against three former title holders during a torrid 12-month span.
“I’m excited for the fight,” Jones told ESPN.com. “To beat three UFC champions in the same year would be an absolute blessing in so many ways.
“I’m not even sure it’s been done before. That would be cool. I’m already looking forward to that.”
Jones owns a dominant 14-1 professional record, with his lone blemish coming in a disqualification loss to now-retired Matt Hamill. Since the December 2009 defeat, “Bones” has rattled off five consecutive convincing victories en route to claiming the light heavyweight throne.
The 24-year-old easily submitted Quinton “Rampage” Jackson last month to break in his new belt, which he captured by steamrolling Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128. Although his most recent victims both posted wins over Machida, Jones knows that has nothing to do with his impending shootout with “The Dragon.”
“Outside of all my past achievements, I have to look at Lyoto as an absolute individual,” Jones added. “I am aware that I just beat the two people who beat him, but styles make fights and I have to respect Lyoto.
“He went on a long tear being undefeated; he’s a tough guy.”
Machida holds an impressive 17-2 professional record and was last seen retiring Randy Couture at UFC 129 in April. His only losses came in back-to-back outings against Shogun and Rampage, respectively.
UFC 140 takes place December 10th inside the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Their 205-pound affair will headline the pay-per-view broadcast.