When news hit late last night that Jon Jones would be facing Vitor Belfort instead of Lyoto Machida at UFC 152, it was met with a collective head-scratch from the MMA community. Machida has released a statement regarding his decision through Blackhouse, citing an inability to put together a proper camp to face someone the likes of Jon Jones. The Brazilian also stated that he would have preferred to rematch the champion at UFC 153 in Rio.
Machida, who currently stands as the incumbent number-one contender to Jones’ title behind his devastating knockout of Ryan Bader at UFC on Fox 4, was slated to meet the winner of the UFC 151 main event which would have seen Jon Jones take on Dan Henderson. “The Dragon” will now wait in the wings to face the victor of the Belfort-Jones bout which takes place at UFC 152.