UFC 140 Fight Card: What a Jon Jones Loss Would Mean to the LHW Division

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2011

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is set to make his second title defense at UFC 140 against a former champion in Lyoto Machida.

2011 has been a remarkable year for Jones, who beat Ryan Bader to earn a title shot, then steamrolled the now-former champ Mauricio Rua to win the belt; he has already defended it once against Quinton Jackson.

All signs are pointing to Jones being the first dominant UFC light heavyweight champion since the legendary reign of Chuck Liddell, but we have seen many fighters in the past seem unstoppable, just to plummet as fast as they rose.

Jones seems unbeatable now, but we could be just hours away from having a new champion.

After all, Machida is an elite competitor and not to be underestimated.

So, what does it mean for the light heavyweight division if Jones loses?

Well, it means they'll be able to sleep at night, finally having some evidence that Jones is not invincible.

It will also mean that the talent pool at the top of the light heavyweight division is insanely equal and that we can expect the title to change hands frequently throughout 2012.

Think about it.

Machida beats Jones, who has beaten Mauricio Rua. Rua has beaten Machida, who lost to Quinton Jackson. Jackson lost to Rashad Evans, who was beaten by Machida and so forth.

If Machida beats Jones, then everyone in the top five of the division has beaten, as well as lost to, other members of the top five.

If Jones falls tonight, we'll have to wait until a new contender emerges before we see a dominant champion in the UFC's light heavyweight division.

Be sure to stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all things UFC 140. B/R is your home for complete coverage of the December 10 fight card, from pre-fight predictions to in-fight coverageresults and post-fight analysis

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter @AndrewBarr8.