After his toe-breaking performance against Chael Sonnen at UFC 159, all the talk surrounding the UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been about who will challenge him next. There are two light heavyweights that seem to be getting the most traction in the MMA community, but there is still one super-fight that the fans are craving to see.
Who should get to fight Jones next?
Machida would like nothing better than to avenge his loss to the current champion from UFC 140. It was that night that saw Jones get the technical submission win on the talented Brazilian and promptly let his unconscious opponent fall head first to mat. Since that devastating loss – only the third of his career – Machida has been working his way back up the rankings in the division. He knocked out Ryan Bader at UFC on Fox 4 in August 2012 and is coming off a split decision victory against Dan Henderson at UFC 157 in February.
“The Mauler” is 15-1 in his career and is one of the brightest stars in the sport, let alone the division. He has won six straight inside the Octagon since losing to Phil Davis at UFC 112. Included in those victories were decisive decisions against Thiago Silva and Mauricio Rua, vicious TKOs against Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko, and submission wins against James Te Huna and Cyrille Diabate. He was scratched from last fight with Gegard Mousasi because of a cut and is still one of the most logical choices to take on “Bones.”
A fight with Silva may be the most talked about and wanted fight in the UFC since Brock Lesnar fought Frank Mir at UFC 100. Silva is the pound-for-pound top fighter in the world and Jones is a close second depending on who you ask. At this point in Silva’s career, he has beaten just about any real challenger in the middleweight division and if he beats Chris Weidman in July, will have nobody left to fight against.
If it wasn’t for the broken toe he suffered against Sonnen, the easiest thing to do here would be to put Silva vs. Jones (if Silva beats Weidman) later this year and possible even have Machida and Gustafsson fight on the same pay-per-view card. Since that won’t happen, the only thing that UFC can do is put Machida and Gustafsson against each other and let the fans hope for the dream fight with Silva at some point before “the Spider” retires.
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