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'Jones won't blow Machida's doors off' - Couture

ESPN staff
December 9, 2011 « England will adapt to conditions - Miller | Chartbeat test »
Randy Couture knows what it's like to face Lyoto Machida © Getty Images
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The legendary Randy Couture believes predictions of a walkover for Jon Jones this weekend are way wide of the mark, insisting the light-heavyweight champion will run into plenty of problems against Lyoto Machida.

Jones and Machida square off for UFC gold at UFC 140, with few backing the challenger to prevail. However, Couture's last opponent before retirement was Machida, and he knows how deceptive the karateka can be.

Couture was knocked out by a quite extraordinary head kick when he faced Machida, but the five-time UFC champion insists Machida's class was no surprise. Couture picked the Dragon for his final opponent due to the challenge of working out the Rubik's Cube, and he admits it is very difficult to prepare for what takes place inside the Octagon.

"Machida's style was everything I expected it to be. I studied the tapes but he's just hard to get a handle on," Couture told ESPN.

"I certainly don't thing Jon's going to have an easy time of it catching up with him. He's elusive, he's a great athlete, he's a tremendous counter-fighter and he has a lot of interesting tools.

"It was an interesting camp for me to prepare for him because he just does a lot of things differently to others guys that I've prepared for. Jon will find the same issues."

Jones is looking to beat his third UFC champion in one year, having taken out Mauricio Shogun Rua and Rampage Jackson. He is yet to look in any danger in his UFC career, but Couture brushes aside suggestions of a whitewash.

"I don't think it'll be a walkover, I don't think Jon will blow Machida's doors off," The Natural said. "But Jon does have everything firing for him right now; he's long, he rangy, he's a tremendous wrestler, he's a tremendous athlete and he can strike with anybody.

"If Jon can get his hands on Machida he can take him down and it will be interesting to see how Lyoto deals with being under a guy like Jon."

UK fans can now personally meet Randy on his UK book launch tour from 9 to 14 December in London, Nottingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Glasgow, Newcastle and Dublin. For full details on locations please visit www.maavid.net now and join Randy at his Xmas book launch parties.

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