UFC 140 promises to blow the roof off of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
In the main event, the human highlight reel that is Jon "Bones" Jones defends his light heavyweight title for a second time when he takes on a former champion in Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida.
Will Jones show that he truly is a legend in the making? Or will the fans see "The Machida Era" for the second time in the UFC?
The co-main event features a rematch from 2008, where Frank Mir takes on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a bout that has some serious title implications.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is also on the card, taking on fellow legend Tito Ortiz in a fight that could easily force the loser into an unplanned retirement.
Hometown hero Claude Patrick takes Brian Ebersole in what should be an entertaining welterweight scrap between two high-level grapplers, while Mark Hominick takes on Chan Sung Jung to round out the main card in a potential show-stealer.
Bleacher Report MMA featured columnists Adam Osterkamp, Jeffrey McKinney, Dale De Souza, Jordy McElroy, as well as myself, John Heinis, tell you who will have their hand raised on Saturday night.
Take a look inside for the in-depth main card preview.
John Heinis: Both of these exciting featherweights are coming off very different spectacular performances.
"The Korean Zombie" avenged an April 2010 fluke loss to Leonard Garcia by slapping on a twister submission in the rematch this past March.
Meanwhile Hominick overcame a vicious beating (and a nasty hematoma) and put featherweight champion Jose Aldo on the ropes in the 5th round of their awesome UFC 129 title fight (which also took place in Ontario.
"The Machine," a former TKO Major League MMA featherweight champion, is still considered by many as a top 5 fighter at 145 pounds since he was on a five-fight win streak prior to the loss to Aldo.
Also worth noting is that Hominick defeated Leonard Garcia via split decision at WEC 51 and easily knocked at George Roop this past January.
I'm not one to buy heavily into "MMA Math," I think few will argue that Hominick is the better fighter here.
While I expect a great fight regardless, the only chance I'm giving Sung Jung is if he catches Hominick on the feet and quickly slaps on a slick submission.
Given that Hominick has plenty of skill on the ground, I don't like Sung Jung's odds. .
Mark Hominick via third round TKO
Adam Osterkamp: No matter what the outcome of this fight is, no fight fan should miss it as it’s sure to be an absolute battle.
Jung has an impressive record, but since fighting under the Zuffa umbrella has only gone 1-3. His fight against Hominick will be a big step up in competition.
Hominick is coming off his loss to Jose Aldo and will surely be looking to prove that he’s still a big contender.
Jung won’t be able to stand toe-to-toe with his opponent, so expect Hominick to go for the KO.
Mark Hominick via KO
Jeffrey McKinney: In the opening bout of the night, former featherweight title contender Mark Hominick will take on the Korean Zombi Chan Sung Jung.
Jung started off his career 9-0 before going 2-3 in his last five.
Jung made a statement in his last fight as caught Leonard Garcia in a twister.
Hominick is coming off of his loss to Jose Aldo.
Despite being beaten bad, and having a soft ball size hematoma growing out of his head, Hominick put up a valiant effort.
Both Jung and Hominick have pretty good submissions.
But Hominick has the striking to go along with it.
Look for Hominick to try to make up for his last performance in front of his home crowd.
Mark Hominick by TKO
Dale De Souza: If any Featherweight fight could be a candidate for Fight of The Night without any sort of title implications, this would be it.
It’s been said before that Chan Sung Jung’s got an excellent ground game, but that he prefers to stand up,
It’s only cost him one fight against George Roop, but he turned a lot of heads when he pulled off the first-ever Twister inside the Octagon on Leonard Garcia, who many believe lost their WEC 48 classic to “The Korean Zombie”, so Mark Hominick can bank on Jung putting some kind of pressure on him during the fight.
Don’t sell Hominick short, though, because for a guy who is seen as a striker due to his time under the tutelage of the late Shawn Tompkins, he’s pretty well-rounded offensively.
Not only that, but it says something when UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo punishes a fighter like Hominick for four rounds, gives him a freakish hematoma, and yet retains his belt with all but the last round in the bag by a unanimous decision.
In short, both men will be an obstacle for the other, but the momentum of a memorable win—while important—does not match the determination of a man looking to rebound from a loss to the champion while battling through the pain of having to take a fight without his trainer in his corner.
Y’all know how some fights look like standard undercard bouts, but then you see them live, and then they wind up delivering a title fight’s worth of action inside of three rounds?
That’s what you might want to expect here, and as much as I’d like to see Jung prosper, Hominick will serve as another roadblock in Jung’s question to be the first Korean UFC Champion.
Mark Hominick by split decision(29-28 x2, Jung will win round 2)
Jordy McElroy: Mark Hominick finally makes his return after giving a solid effort in his UFC 129 loss to featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
He’ll step right back into the fire against “The Korean Zombie” Chan-Sung Jung as he tries to work his way back up the 145-pound ladder.
Jung, who is coming off a brilliant submission victory over Leonard Garcia, is nicknamed “The Korean Zombie” for a reason.
He doesn’t mind offering his face up as a punching bag for an opportunity to land counters.
This isn’t a wise tactic against an efficient striker like Hominick, who can dance around in the pocket and pop off quick combinations.
Jung may have to look for takedowns. If he can control Hominick on the ground, he’ll have the opportunity to advance in the Canadian’s guard and work for submissions.
Unfortunately, this will be easier said than done. Aldo was able to take Hominick down with an unexpected and explosive double.
While Jung has great submission skills, he isn’t the greatest wrestler. To top that off, Hominick isn’t a stationary target. He is constantly moving in and out of the pocket.
Jung will most likely look like a zombie after this fight. Hominick will give Jung a steady appetite of jabs and straights en-route to a lopsided unanimous decision.
Mark Hominick by unanimous decision
John Heinis: While fans are definitely disappointed that Rory MacDonald had to miss this fight due to injury, fellow Canadian native Claude Patrick is not just some guy the UFC called in out of desperation.
"The Prince" is 14-1 as a professional fighter, with the BJJ brown belt boasting nine submission finishes.
Despite no wrestling background to speak of, Patrick is a great top player with a nasty guillotine and rear naked choke.
Meanwhile, 31-year-old journeyman Brian Ebersole makes for a tough opponent for a lot of fighters at 170-pounds.
He is a good enough wrestler with a great submission game and solid ground and pound.
"Bad Boy's" iron chin has never failed him in 64 fights either, so it is pretty common to see him get inside on his adversaries and find a way to get the fight to the mat.
To put things into perspective, neither guy is going to be vying for championship gold anytime soon.
Patrick hasn't beaten anyone you've ever heard of, while Ebersole's back to back wins over Chris Lytle and Dennis Hallman is probably as good as it's going to get for the tough as nails veteran.
This fight could go either way, but I am going to say the Ontario crowd is enough to swing this one in Patrick's favor.
Claude Patrick via split decision (29-28 x2, don't be surprised if you disagree)
Adam Osterkamp: Claude Patrick is 14-1 overall and has gone 3-0 since coming to the UFC. Brian Ebersole has won the past nine of 10 fights and is a seasoned veteran of the sport.
Both of these fighters have the ability to put one another away almost anywhere on the mat and both men are 31.
Expect this fight to go all three rounds and Patrick to grind out a close decision.
Claude Patrick via split decision
Jeffrey McKinney: Claude Patrick will get another chance to move up the rankings as he takes on the exciting Brian Ebersole.
Patrick who’s 14-1, has had a pretty good showing thus far in his UFC Career.
Ebersole is on a nine-fight winning streak and like Patrick has had a good showing in his first couple of fights.
The difference between the two is Ebersole has had 60 fights and has faced tougher competition.
Patrick may not be an easy task for Ebersole, but I feel like he will pick up a decision victory.
Brian Ebersole by submission
Dale De Souza: The big question here…well, there are actually two questions with Claude Patrick’s bout with “The White Anderson Silva” Brian Ebersole, and they both concern each fighter’s respective ability to adapt to recent opponent changes.
Patrick was supposed to face “Richie The Guido” Attonito on the prelims while Ebersole was supposed to face Rory MacDonald, but an injury to MacDonald opened a door for Patrick to face Ebersole while newcomer Jake Hecht gets Attonito.
Simply put, Ricardo Funch and James Wilks didn’t offer the unpredictability that Ebersole does, and while Chris Lytle offered enough of a hard-pressing style to give Ebersole trouble on the feet, his technical and aggressive striking offense were not the same as what Patrick offers.
On the plus side, Patrick also doesn’t offer Carlos Newton-esque trunks whenever he fights.
Still, it’s tough to see Ebersole as a guy that doesn’t find a way to look impressive every time he fights, but Patrick gave Daniel Roberts a difficult fight at UFC 129, so there’s always a first time for everything.
Patrick wants to keep it standing and Ebersole likely prefers to submit Patrick in this case, thus it should be expected that Ebersole does try to turn this into a grappling affair.
If that happens, expect a submission win from Ebersole, who will probably get a choke in on Patrick.
Brian Ebersole by 1st round submission (rear naked choke)
It’s been smooth sailing for Claude Patrick thus far in the UFC, but he’ll meet his toughest test at UFC 140 when he goes toe to toe with MMA journeyman Brain Ebersole.
Patrick has the potential to really make some noise in the welterweight division. He’s a strong grappler with ever-improving striking.
He should enter this bout as the favorite amongst most pundits, but it’s tough to bet against Ebersole.
Sure, he isn’t the most flashy or technically efficient fighters, but there is a grit about him that must be accounted for.
With over 60 professional bouts under his belt, Ebersole is one of the most experienced fighters in the UFC. He’s a tough guy with the ability to sustain a good pace and rally late regardless of the situation.
Patrick has never been tested in this manner, and Ebersole has the ability to drag the Canadian through uncharted waters.
For those who know Patrick and Ebersole, this is solid matchmaking by Joe Silva. These are two welterweights on the rise, and a win here could propel one of these men to a shot against top-10 opposition.
Look for Patrick to dominate early, but the tide will slowly change as the bout drags on. A bloodied and battered Ebersole will capitalize on a ground mistake late in the third round and lock up a submission in dramatic fashion.
Brian Ebersole by round 3 submission (rear naked choke)
John Heinis: Neither of the gas tanks for these guys are at empty, but the fuel light has definitely lit up.
A loss here could easily spell retirement for either legendary light heavyweight, with Ortiz recently acknowledging that he will likely retire after one more fight (after UFC 140).
Lil' Nog has looked bad in his past three performances, stealing a win away from Jason Brilz at UFC 114 before suffering lopsided decision losses to Ryan Bader and Phil Davis.
Despite only one win in the past five years (going 1-5-1 since December 2006), I feel like Ortiz has got this one in the bag.
Nogueira has looked awful against wrestler recently and it's been almost two-and-a-half years since he's submitted someone off his back.
Nog is tough to finish and Ortiz is clearly past his prime as well, but he's going to get some takedowns and control the fight on the ground enough to earn a clear cut decision in a fairly boring fight.
Tito Ortiz via unanimous decision (30-27)
Adam Osterkamp: These two fighters are veterans and legends of the sport. Both men will come into the cage looking to prove something as they’re both coming off losses.
Nogueira will use his boxing to beat Tito up standing so expect Ortiz to go for the takedown.
However, Ortiz will be outclassed on the ground as well. Expect to see some vintage BJJ from Nogueira and pull off a finish in the second round.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via second round submission
Jeffrey McKinney: In a match that could send one of these former top light heavyweights packing, Tito Ortiz will take on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Ortiz has had a career comeback this year after his huge win over Ryan Bader.
Ortiz seems to be revitalized but he knows his days are numbered.
Although Little Nog is not as decorated as his twin brother, he is still a highly trained and dangerous fighter.
Nogueira holds victories over Dan Henderson, Alistair Overeem and Kazushi Sakuraba.
Before coming to the UFC, Nogueira was 17-3 and was on a five-fight winning streak.
Since then though he has been 2-2 and is looking to avoid his third straight loss.
Nogueira has a decorated boxing background and is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Ortiz will obviously have the advantage in wrestling, but if he wants to avoid getting caught in a submission his best bet is to keep the fight standing.
Ortiz is a UFC legend, but I predict Nogueira has too many tools for him.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by unanimous decision
Dale De Souza: The good news for Tito Ortiz: he gets to fight once more in the UFC, and against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, no less.
The bad news…well, I suppose if Forrest Griffin doesn’t open up to a trilogy bout with Ortiz, a loss to Little Nog means early retirement.
Really speaking, the fight is pretty easy to break down because this is Ortiz’s Wrestling, submission game, and close-up fighting style against Little Nog’s BJJ and Boxing game, so that raises some questions also.
Nogueira pretty much needs a win over Ortiz to save his UFC run, and Ortiz needs a win to convince Forrest Griffing and Dana White that a trilogy is worth making.
Far be it from me to say Tito is done at this point, because he did beat Ryan Bader, but Nogueira’s fists are looking for a room for the night of the 10th, and Ortiz’s chin has a pretty tempting vacancy sign hanging from it.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by 1st round TKO or 2nd Round KO
JordyMcElroy: It could be do or die for Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira when they meet inside the UFC octagon.
While Nogueira is coming off back to back losses, Ortiz witnessed a new birth in the UFC with his shocking first round submission victory over Ryan Bader at UFC 132.
Unfortunately, the celebration was rather short lived, as “The People’s Champ” was stopped by Rashad Evans a month later.
Both fighters are more well-rounded they people typically give them credit for being, but this bout will likely turn into a grappler versus striker match-up.
Ortiz is an underrated striker who has stood and traded with the best in the world, but if he hopes to get past Nogueira, he will have to utilize his wrestling base to nab takedowns in the open and work some of his vintage ground and pound.
Nogueira is a wily striker with the ability to string together smooth combinations in the pocket. His ironclad chin gives him almost a zombie like stance, as trudges forward eating punches to return some of his own.
Ortiz may have dropped Bader on the feet, but while underrated in technique, history tells us that Ortiz has never really shown the ability to finish fights standing.
Still, history also shows that Nogueira tends to really struggle against strong wrestlers with good top control.
The Jason Brilz fight stands out the most, as a sluggish Nogueira gave up telegraphed and half-hearted takedowns throughout the entire bout.
As long as Ortiz approaches this fight with a grappling mentality, he should be able to squeak out a couple of rounds and earn the nod of all three judges.
Tito Ortiz by unanimous decision
John Heinis: This is a rematch from UFC 92, when the two head coaches from season eight of "The Ultimate Fighter" met in the Octagon.
Mir scored a convincing TKO win in the second round, but as both fighters will tell you, Big Nog said his performance was hindered by a lingering knee injury and a staph infection.
Regardless of how much stock you put into that excuse, it is tough to argue that Mir just looks let the better fighter right now.
"Minotauro" showed that he is not done yet with a huge upset victory over prospect Brendon Schaub at UFC 134, but there is no doubt that he still looks slow and hobbled in the Octagon.
Meanwhile, Mir has won three of his past four and many believe that he is a top five competitor in the heavyweight division, despite a rough loss to Shane Carwin at UFC 111.
I am giving Nog zero chance of knocking out Mir, so his only hope is a slick submission... too bad Mir is at least on par with Minatauro as far as BJJ goes.
Mir is also a much better wrestler, so I think this is the beginning of the end for another former Pride legend.
Oh yeah, and let's not pretend Nogueira has a chin left just because he knocked out Schaub.
Frank Mir via third round TKO
Adam Osterkamp:“Big Nog” is coming off an awesome victory over young up-an-comer in Brendon Schaub at UFC 134 and is looking to avenge his loss to Mir.
Mir and Nogueira were both coaches of The Ultimate Fighter and since their fight some bad blood has been brewing between the two.
This fight should be great as both athletes have great ability on their feet and on the mat. Nogueira will look to put Mir away in convincing fashion and Mir’s only losses have come by either KO or TKO.
Expect a Nogueira to prolong his career further with a late finish.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via third TKO
Dale De Souza: I’m in a clear minority here but Frank Mir is clearly getting a big head about the way this rematch with Minotauro Nogueira will go, and I mean no disrespect to the man at all.
However, the majority of us thought Brendan Schaub would handle Minotauro about as easily as Mir thinks he’ll be able to handle him, and the last I checked, that approach did not pan out well for anyone that backed Mr. Schaub.
I don’t find much of a breakdown necessary for this fight because every fan of MMA should know about each fighter’s striking, each fighter’s Boxing, and both of these guys’ BJJ expertise, as both have been seen as the two best practitioners in this era of the sport.
To put this in honest terminology, Mir has just as good of a chance to knock Nogueira out again as Nogueira has a chance of knocking out Mir.
Think this fight only ends in a KO if Mir gets it?
Minotauro Nogueira by 2nd round Submission (Armbar) or 3rd round KO
Jordy McElroy: MMA legends collide for a second time when former world champions Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir meet.
Nearly three ago, Mir shocked the MMA world with his complete dissection of Nogueira in the striking department. It was the bout that really showcased Mir’s improvements and rededication to the sport.
While he doesn’t want to make any excuses, Nogueira had just gotten over a major Staph infection a few days out from the bout.
Will the second time be any different?
Nogueira impressed in his first round knockout of Brendan Schaub at UFC 134, but against Mir, he is still overmatched in the striking the department.
Mir has truly come full circle as a Mixed Martial Artist with improved striking to finally go along with his world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The match-up nightmare for Mir typically includes behemoth wrestlers with smothering clinch and ground control.
Nogueira could be the better grappler of the two, but he doesn’t have the wrestling to put Mir on his back and work for submissions. Besides, Mir is a legendary submission artist himself, and it isn’t far-fetched to see him submitting Nogueira.
This fight will be decided by whoever can best the standup exchanges. At this point in their respective careers, Mir is just the better striker with the chin to absorb more punishment in the pocket.
Nogueira will put up a much better effort this time out, but Mir will net the late TKO stoppage to prove the first bout wasn’t a fluke.
Frank Mir by Round 3 TKO
John Heinis: Debate has been widespread in recent weeks about whether we will see a second "Machida era." or if Jon Jones will easily clean out the light heavyweight division.
Jones, who is just 24-years-old, boasts a 14-1 record with quality back-to-back wins over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Funny enough, Machida is coming off consecutive losses to those exact same two opponents.
Worth noting is that many fans believe that "The Dragon" did enough to defeat Rampage and that he never deserved his initial win over Shogun at UFC 104.
Machida is certainly no slouch, coming in at 17-2 with career wins over the likes of Tito Ortiz, Thiago Silva, Rashad Evans and most recently retiring Randy Couture, but personally, I think he matches up horribly with Jones.
Lyoto relies on counter striking and movement, or backing away depending who you ask. Whatever the case may be, no one has come close to hanging with Jones on the feet and I don't think that changes here.
I won't put it past Machida to land a clean strike here and there to hurt Jones, but "Bones" takedowns are unreal, so I am 100 percent confident he will take things to the ground whenever he wants.
Machida has solid takedown defense, but he has not faced an opponent with a blend of collegiate/Greco Roman wrestling and Judo that Jones possesses.
Additionally, I can't see the former champ doing much off his back. Sure, he's a black belt, but when's the last time he had to work off his back from inside the Octagon?
The only argument for Machida is that Jones' chin has never been tested ... and we saw how well that held up for Rampage.
Jon Jones via third round KO
Adam Osterkamp: If there has ever been a fight that is hard to predict, this is it. A lot of people are favoring Jones in this fight, but not long ago people also thought Machida was unbeatable.
Obviously we know that no man is unbeatable (unless maybe you’re Rickson Gracie ...), and more than any fighter Jones has faced, Machida has the ability to win.
This fight is sure to be one of the greatest chess like match ups in UFC history. Each man is incredibly gifted and calculated.
Jones will come out slowly against Machida, feeling him out, but press the action more and more as time goes on.
Machida will test Jones more than any other fighter Jones has faced, but unfortunately it won’t be enough to get the victory.
Jones will win this fight via unanimous decision and will come under high scrutiny from MMA fans who will be calling for a rematch.
Jon Jones via controversial unanimous decision
Jeffrey McKinney: In the night’s main event Jon Jones will defend his title against Lyoto Machida.
Both Jones and Machida have two of MMA’s most perplexing fighting styles.
Machida uses his elusive karate to confuse his opponents while Jones uses a combination of wrestling and unorthodox striking to make him one of the hardest fighters to train for.
If there’s anyone that can defeat Jones, many people believe its Machida.
Machida has great wrestling defense and has KO power in his hands and after his last fight, his feet as well.
Jones is such a tough fighter to do anything against though.
The scary thing about it all is Jones is still learning.
This match up may not be for everyone as I see it playing out like a slow, calculated chess match.
But I believe Jones can match Machida for speed, and will use his size and reach advantage to put Machida away.
Jon Jones by TKO
Dale De Souza: Oh, the things to love about this bout—they are beautiful, are they not?
Both men are unpredictable finishers, both men have a wrestling background (yes, Sumo counts), and both men are seen as rather powerful Light Heavyweights that could beast the beat at Heavyweight.
What’s the only thing that sucks about this fight?
Well, if you’re betting your house on this one being anything like Garcia-Jung, that’s one thing about this fight—the fact of it being likely to be technical and slow-paced for an exciting bout is probably going to disappoint some people.
The other thing that sucks about this fight is that someone has to win and someone has to lose, but if you buy Jones as arrogant, that’s not a bad thing.
Personal vents and opinions aside, Jones’ image has come off as arrogant and not genuine, but Jones is not letting it get to him, which is good.
That said, he’s facing a difficult challenge in Machida, and if it’s established early, Jones might just feel the belt slip right through his fingers, thus continuing the curse of the UFC Light Heavyweight title.
Lyoto Machida by unanimous decision (48-46…and this is the only fight I secretly hope I get wrong)
Jordy McElroy: After suffering back to back losses, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida crane kicked his way back into title contention at UFC 129 with a win over Randy Couture.
Now, he faces the fastest rising star in MMA history and current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
From purely a stylistic perspective, this is one of the most interesting fights in UFC history. Jones and Machida are both incredibly unpredictable fighters who often keep opponents guessing with unorthodox offense and awkward footwork.
This will be a slow, technical battle, which should draw plenty of boos from the “just bleed” fans.
Machida is a very patient and elusive fighter, and he’ll definitely test Jones’ range and accuracy.
Jones will also have to be mindful of the takedown. While Jones is the better wrestler, people tend to overlook Machida’s ability to use his striking to setup takedowns.
The takedown he secured on Tito Ortiz in the first round of their UFC 84 bout was a work of art.
With that said, Machida is a fighter who likes to hang back and wait for an opportunity to explode into the pocket. This is going to be hard to do against a fighter with Jones’ reach.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is one of the best boxers in all of MMA, and the first thing he praised about Jones’ fight game was his understanding of range.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua showed that patience and a well-rounded mixture of kicks and punches throttle Machida’s Karate-based style. Jones has the ability to mimic Shogun’s performance against Machida and possibly even add to it.
In the history of the sport, there has never been a fighter as complete as Jones. He should be able to use his reach to pick Machida apart on the outside, and when the distance closes, look for Jones to secure a takedown or two.
Considering Machida’s ability to avoid punishment, it’s possible this bout goes the distance, but this journalist is banking on Jones netting the vicious third round TKO stoppage.
Jon Jones by Round 3 TKO
John Heinis: Fight of the Night - Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung
Submission of the Night - Nik Lentz
KO of the Night - Jon Jones
Adam Osterkamp: Fight of the Night - Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung
Submission of the Night - Claude Patrick
KO of the Night - Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Jeffrey McKinney: Fight of the Night - Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung or Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Submission of the Night - Brian Ebersole
KO of the Night - Frank Mir
Dale De Souza: Fight of the Night - Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung
Submission of the Night - Minotauro Nogueria
KO of the Night - Jon Jones (IF he beats Machida)
Jordy McElroy: Fight of the Night - Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Submission of the Night - Brian Ebersole
KO of the Night - Frank Mir