If styles make fights, one can only imagine the kind of bout that will come forth as a result of the synergy that UFC 140’s main event combatants will bring.

The marquee matchup for this anticipated card presents the most difficult challenge to date. Not only will complexity be an issue for the fighters involved, but every fight fan watching this epic battle will deliberate carefully on who will emerge victorious.

This is where prognostication comes in TNP Nation. While anything can happen on any given night, I’ll do my best to forecast what could be an artistic fight.

The Challenger, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida stands in a class of his own. Not only did he introduce MMA Nation to Karate as a legit Martial Art in a sport of variety, he rode that wave to a 16-0 start in his career that included a dominant title win over former champion Rashad Evans. His elusiveness has ironically garnered him acclaim and criticism. He circles his opponent, goes in for strikes and pulls away before you can counter his attack. Machida’s timing is impeccable. As learned in his last two bouts against Quinton Jackson, and Randy Couture, “The Dragon” can also be the aggressor, pushing the pace with rapid fire punches, kicks and leg sweep takedowns. With wins over the likes of BJ Penn, Rich Franklin and Tito Ortiz on his resume, along with being the former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Machida has what it takes to reclaim UFC’s most transitional title.

Coming out the opposite corner will be the reigning champion Jon “Bones” Jones. Like his opponent, Bones also sits in a unique class, albeit a different subject. At the conclusion of 2011, the champ will have four fights in a calendar year. With each fight, he gets better. In a mere seven months, the 24 year old has progressed from up-and-comer to title contender to champion to defending champion. With expertise in Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling and Muay-Thai, Jones is the most perplexed fighter in the sport. Whatever he throws at his opponents, strikes, takedowns, submission attempts, comes from the most unfathomable positions. With wins over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Jackson, Jones has a chance to outlast a third future hall of famer in Machida.

Machida can be likened to a rubix cube. Upon sight, he looks simple, but once you’re engaged in him, he presents difficulty. Jones is the enigmatic prodigy. He’s young, yet possesses a fighting style that is inexplicable.

As imposing as The Dragon can be, like many rubix cubes before him, he can and will get solved. Jones will have the remedy to ward of Machida’s attack, completing a second title defense, thus perpetuating inquiry that asks, “Who can stop Jones?”

By Antoine Hoffman

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