Fight fans will see a fresh crop of exciting Mixed Martial Arts action this Saturday at UFC 140. The MMA World is split on their views of the outcome of the evening's main event—a fight between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones and former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida.
Half of the MMA world believes that Machida is the man to defeat Jones, while the other half believes that Jones will prevail.
Why does each side feel as they do?
Some badly want to see "Suga" Rashad Evans face Jones, but Evans first has to hope that cage rust or a swift right hand (or a potential adrenaline dump) hits "Mr. Wonderful," Phil Davis, when Evans and Davis collide at UFC on Fox 2 in Chicago.
Until then, we're left yammering on about Jones vs. Machida, which some have considered the most technical UFC light heavyweight title bout so far.
It makes sense, though.
When it comes to size, strength and elusiveness, the edge goes to Machida. In addition, many see Machida as the better counter-striker than Jones, who is more likely to press the action with effective aggression.
Machida's size, however, appears to give him an advantage in the fight; his Sumo expertise could score big in terms of aggression and Octagon control.
It's been a while since Machida has submitted anyone in the Octagon. However, it's also been a long time since anyone has been bold enough to put their knowledge of MMA on the line and ask whether the pupil of Gaidojutsu founder and master strategist Greg Jackson will have a plan if Machida should take Jones down and keep him there.
Jones is a strong man with a lanky and slender frame, but taking down a man like Machida is no easy task. When it comes to heart as well as endurance and cardio, Machida and Jones are equals.
Jones has yet to look significantly drained in any bout that he's fought beyond three rounds. He has shown that he can take a fighter's best shots, and he has battled on despite being hurt by some of the best in the division.
Machida has also taken clean shots from strong fighters and shown his ability to last five rounds in the past as well—even in his first bout with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Above all else, the one thing that stands out the most is the ability of both fighters to be unorthodox.
Machida has used his Karate to put opponents in precarious situations, as has Jones; but perhaps the biggest reason behind the support for a Jones victory is the unpredictability of the champion's offense.
Everyone expects Jones to finish in some sort of impressive and dominating fashion, but he's so creative in the cage with his striking and so methodical with his Greco-Roman wrestling and his Gaidojutsu that it's hard to tell exactly how he is going to bring about his opponent's demise.
That's the biggest factor in the fight, one must think. Both men bring the martial arts to life every time the cage door shuts, and both partake in the art of combat as if it were a chess competition.
Can the champion stay a step ahead of his challenger in this instance, or is the challenger and former champion too intelligent to be outsmarted by his younger foe?
We all know that the fight won't play out exactly as it does on paper; the unpredictability of the match makes it difficult to pick a winner
Who will prevail, you ask?
We won't know until Bruce Buffer sounds his name at the end of the fight..