MMA fans collectively slumped their shoulders on Tuesday when the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, which was originally scheduled for UFC 178 in September, had to be postponed due to an injury to the champ.
Tristen Critchfield of Sherdog has the quotes from Jones' camp, which indicates a takedown from UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem caused the injury.
“It’s part of the game, it wasn’t like...somebody went for a flying kick and dislocated [something]. Somebody went for a takedown, [Jones] stepped the wrong way, twisted the wrong way and down he went. He was fighting it, and he just twisted it. And then it just popped," said trainer Greg Jackson.
Jackson did say that while Jones won't be able to do certain things (like kickboxing) during the early part of his rehab, the UFC champ will be able to do other things to train (like working off his back). That's something that will likely come into play given Cormier's wrestling skills.
Speaking of Cormier and his skills, some additional quotes from assistant coach Brandon Gibson have puzzled some MMA fans. The Jones camp assistant told Critchfield:
One positive I think there is, is [Cormier] was having a shorter camp. ... I’m sure he was going to be worried about getting in shape, and we didn’t want any excuses from him. This gives DC plenty of time to get better at every aspect he wants to get better at and heal whatever needs to heal.
Because when we face him, we want to face the best DC there is. No excuses.
It's interesting that Jones is the one pulling out of the fight due to an injury but his camp is concerned with Cormier making excuses.
Cormier's struggles to make a lower weight limit have been picked at by Jones, per the MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting's Dave Doyle), but it's more likely that Cormier was more concerned with a knee injury of his own. An injury to Cormier's LCL was believed to have required surgery, but the title challenger opted to hold off on surgery to face Jones at UFC 178.
Now Cormier will have additional time to heal up any nagging injuries and have a full training camp to face the UFC light heavyweight champ.
It's unclear as to whether Jones' injury will require surgery at the moment, but the two are scheduled to headline the UFC 182 card on January 3, 2015 in Las Vegas.
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