Return to Toronto Pays Off

The UFC returned to Toronto for the second time in a year and for the UFC it was another great success. With an attendance of 18,303 and a gate of $3.9 million plus another wild crowd who enjoyed some great fights. The best of them was the main event when Jon Jones would attempt to defend his Light Heavyweight belt against a former champion in Lyoto Machida. This was an interesting matchup for one very big reason. The Light Heavyweight division has been the most exciting in the UFC over the past few years. With so many fighters dominating their weight classes like Dominick Cruz, Jose Aldo, Georges St. Pierre, and Anderson Silva it is a rare sight to see new champions in the UFC. This is true for both of the heaviest division but none more than the Light Heavyweight Division that has not seen a fighter defend the belt for more than one fight since Chuck Liddell held the title. Since Liddell, who lost the title in 2006, there have been six different champions in the division with only Quinton Jackson and Lyoto Machida defending the title successfully once. Jones became the sixth champion when he beat Mauricio Rua last year and became the youngest champion, at 23 years old, in UFC history. Meanwhile Machida was widely considered unbeatable after winning his first 16 fights in the UFC and beating Rashad Evans at UFC 98 for the title. He then went on to defend it against Mauricio Rua in a controversial victory but lost the rematch putting him into the category of the rotating champions. At UFC 140 these two would face off as Jones looked to be the first fighter since Chuck Liddell to successfully defend the title since Chuck Liddell. The fight started out in what is becoming a habit for Jones as he came out crouched down and slowly rose to his feet to begin exchanging. Both fighters felt each other out in the first round with Jones throwing some kicks and Machida responding. None of the punches or kicks did much damage as both fighters were just making sure they didn’t get caught. Then Machida began opening up a little bit countering Jones with a great kick and then unloading on the champion. The punches landed sending Jones backwards and just looking to get back into the fight but it was clear that he had lost the first round. Jones survived the first round but needed to do something to get back into the fight. The second round saw a lot more action with both fighters seemingly looking to end the fight in the round. Jones threw some great kicks to Machida’s legs try to take his legs out much like Mauricio Rua had done. Jones then came in trying to strike and got caught with a big shot by Machida that was answered by a right and a takedown attempt by Jones. With the fight on the ground Jones landed some big elbows that cut Machida who eventually got back up to the feet. The fight was then stopped briefly as the referee wanted to check out the cut on Machida’s head. It was determined that Machida could continue and both fighters started up again in the clinch against the fence. Machida then escaped and got caught with a big left hand by Machida this was followed up with Jones locking in a standing Guillotine Choke. With the Guillotine locked in Machida refused to tap and the fight was stopped with Machida unconscious thanks to the submission by Jones. With the fight over the Jones era officially began as he continues to be the leader of a new generation of fighters becoming the only fighter since Chuck Liddell to defend the Light Heavyweight Belt more than once. Jones will now move on to another title defence but will take a break for about 6 months to enjoy his success. His opponent could be any number of fighters including Rashad Evans, if he decides to fight a friend after ducking the Jones fight multiple times, or even Dan Henderson who beat Mauricio Rua in his return to the UFC. Machida will move back in the long line of Light Heavyweight fighters as he will begin to look to climb back up the ladder and earn another title shot.

The Fights before the main event were just as good, if not better, than the title fight as the Nogueira brothers fought on the same card for the first time ever. The first fight featured the smaller of the two as “Little Nog” Rogerio Nogueira took on Tito Ortiz. Little Nog was looking to recover from two straight losses and get back on a winning track as he looks to move up the Light Heavyweight ladder to a championship bout. Ortiz was looking to continue his comeback in the UFC with a win in his third fight since returning to the octagon. The fight started with both fighters determined to stay standing and exchange. As the first round progressed they got into a dirty boxing and clinch fight that eventually saw Little Nog throw a big knee into the ribs of Ortiz. With the knee Ortiz went down with Nogueira on top. Nogueira began throwing big punches from the top and then started focusing on the ribs. After a few big rib and kidney shots the fight was stopped with Ortiz remaining on the ground holding his stomach. Nogueira will take the win and continue to climb while Ortiz wants to fulfill his contract, which has one more fight on it, before he starts thinking of retirement. The next fight featured the bigger of the Nogueira’s as “Big Nog” Minotauro Nogueira took on Frank Mir in a rematch of a previous title fight. The fight started cautiously but eventually Nogueira got the best of Mir catching him with a big left hand that sent Mir to the mat. Nogueira looked to finish the fight as he pounced on top of Mir and attempted to sink in a guillotine. Mir was still aware though and took hold of Nogueira’s arm and began twisting it in a Kimura. Mir got on top and began twisting the arm which was then reversed after Nogueira flipped over. It was then reversed again as Mir flipped Nogueira and got on top again. Nogueira was in a tough spot and did not seem to want to tap so Mir continued to twist the arm and eventually ended the fight after he separated Nogueira’s shoulder. The fight over Mir improved to 2-0 against Nogueira and became the first fighter to submit Minotauro which he will add to his accomplishment of being the first fighter to KO Minotauro. Mir will now go on to enter into a serious conversation for the Heavyweight belt after Junior dos Santos defends the belt against the winner of the Alistair Overeem-Brock Lesnar fight later this month. Nogueira will be out for a while with a serious injury thanks to Mir but will be back to try to climb back up the ladder.

The bonuses for UFC 140 totaled $75,000 for each fighter involved and there were plenty of fights to choose from. The “Fight of the Night” went to the Main event as Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida took home the bonuses for their 2 round bout that ended in Jones keeping the Light Heavyweight Title. The “Knockout of the Night” went to Chan Sung Jung who tied a UFC record when he knocked out hometown favorite Mark Hominick in all of 7 seconds into the first round. The “Submission of the Night” went to what Dana White called the “Submission of the Century” as Frank Mir took home the bonus for separating Minotauro Nogueira’s Shoulder via a Kimura.

 

Full Results:

Jon “Bones” Jones def. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida [Light Heavyweight Title]

(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 2)

 

Frank Mir def. Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira

(Submission; Kimura, Rd 1)

 

“Lil’ Nog” Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. “The People’s Champ” Tito Ortiz

(TKO; Rd. 1)

 

Brian “Bad Boy” Ebersole def. Claude “The Prince” Patrick

(Split Decision)

 

“The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung def. Mark “The Machine” Hominick

(TKO; Rd. 1)

 

Igor “The Duke” Pokrajac def. Krzysztof “The Polish Experiment” Soszynski

(KO; Rd. 1)

 

Constantinos “Costa” Phillipou def. Jared “The Messenger” Hamman

(KO; Rd. 1)

 

Dennis “Superman” Hallman def. John “The Bull” Makdessi

(Submission; Rear-Naked Choke, Rd. 1)

 

Yves “Tiger” Jabouin def. Walel “The Gazelle” Watson

(Split Decision)

 

Mark Bocek def. Nik “The Carny” Lentz

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Jake “The Hitman” Hecht def. Rich “The Raging Bull” Attonito

(TKO; Rd. 2)

 

John Cholish def. Mitch “Danger Zone” Clarke

(TKO, Rd. 2)

 

Upcoming Events:

 

UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem (December 30; 10:00 pm)

– Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)

– Main Event: Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair “The reem” Overeem

– Notable: Nate Diaz vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone

– Notable: Jon Fitch vs. Johny Hendricks

 

UFC Rio: Aldo vs. Mendes (January 14th; 10:00 pm)

– Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (HSBC Arena)

– Main Event: Jose “Junior” Aldo vs. Chad “Money” Mendes [Featherweight Title]

– Notable: Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort vs. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson

– Notable: Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares vs. Mike “The Master of Disaster” Massenzio

 

UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller (Friday January 20th; 10:00 pm)

– Live Free on Sportsnet/FX

– Nashville, Tennessee (Bridgestone Arena)

– Main Event: Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard vs. Jim Miller

– Notable: Duane “Bang” Ludwig vs. Josh “The Dentist” Neer

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