by Steven Marrocco and Matt Erickson on Sep 23, 2012 at 3:20 am ET
TORONTO – The armbar that popped Jon Jones’ elbow did damage that undoubtedly will sideline the champ for the near future.
Jones (17-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC), who fought through the hold to cinch a submission over Vitor Belfort (21-10 MMA, 10-6 UFC) in the fourth round of UFC 152′s main event, said doctors believe he may have nerve damage to his right bicep.
Jones was bound for a local hospital following the post-event news conference to get an X-ray on the injury.
UFC 152 took place Saturday at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The event’s main card, including the light heavyweight title fight, aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
News of another injury to a top UFC star was not music to UFC President Dana White’s ears.
“Another fighter injured,” he quipped. “That’s crazy.”
White, however, gushed at Jones’ performance.
“There’s no doubt that this was his best performance,” he said. “He looked phenomenal tonight.
“There was a lot of questions about Jon Jones that people kept asking over and over again, no matter who he fought. No matter how good he fought. Could he take a punch? He got hit with some big punches tonight from a real puncher, and he took them. He was injured. He had the heart to keep going, and he had a great fight tonight. There can be no more naysaying about Jon Jones. You love him or you hate him … but you can’t deny that the kid is extremely talented and one of the best in the world.”
Almost half of the press conference had passed when Jones stepped onto the podium sporting a sling. Immediately after the fight, he admitted the submission hold was solid and said he heard his arm pop when Belfort applied it early in the first round – though he vowed not to tap. Speaking before reporters, however, he said he had mentally prepared himself to lose.
“In there, I felt as if there was a point where I don’t think physically he could have extended it even more,” Jones said. “I mean, it was popping, and I felt after 25 years that I’ve never felt that feeling before. I just came to terms with what was going to happen, just thinking, ‘Man, I can’t believe I’m getting ready to lose this way.’
“I remember the first time I punched with it. I just felt like it had no power on it. I was like, ‘That felt funny.’”
Belfort, a former light heavyweight champ who stepped up from middleweight to 205 pounds for the title fight, surprised both Jones and the crowd with the submission attempt, which was fully extended before the champ freed himself.
“I had my opportunity,” he said. “I think when I heard (Jones’ arm) pop, I kind of lost the pressure, and he got away. It is what it is. I thought I really had that arm, but he fought through it. He did great.”
Although White previously indicated that a fight between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida may serve as a runoff for Jones’ next opponent, he declined to speculate on the immediate title picture.
Reigning UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, was arrested early Saturday morning after crashing his Bentley into a utility pole near his hometown in Ithaca. Jones’ management team confirmed the arrest stating, “The facts of this situation are still being gathered and situated.”
The Broome County Sheriff’s department reportedly took Mr. Jones, into custody at approximately 5 a.m. EST.
Jones’ management team released a statement:
“I can confirm that Jon Jones was arrested early this morning on suspicion of DUI,” stated manager Malki Kawa. “While the facts of this situation are still being gathered and situated, First Round Management fully supports Jon, and we are asking for fans and media to respect the privacy of Jon and his family during this time.
Dana White comments, “I’m a realist. You can’t expect all these people to be perfect. I understand they’re role models. They’re human beings. They’re going to make mistakes. I’m one of those guys that believes we’re all going to make mistakes – it’s how you handle it after you make that mistake that tells you who you really are.”
From Jon Jones this morning via facebook:
Man I haven’t added anyone new to my Facebook page in like three years and right now I’m so glad that I haven’t. It has literally been sickening to have so many people try to kick me while I’m down. At the same time, I totally understand, I gave them the leeway to. I screwed up, big time. Just needed to say thank you to all you guys for being amazing friends/supporters
Always having to deal with so many critics, haters and fickle mma fans, I almost forgot how strong of a home base I had (607 and people that knew me before I was a champion fighter). Although the hell that will come with this hasn’t even started yet, I want you guys to know how much better you’ve all made me feel, not only about this situation but about life, everything. It’s good to feel that people are there and care. With that being said, I felt I should apologize to you first.
I’m truly sorry to those of you that I may have embarrassed in any way, to those of you with kids that I may have let down. I will prove to them as well as to myself, that no matter what is happening in life, we can always work our way back and make things even better than before. Reading you guys uplifting comments was a great reminder for me to not give up on who I am or all the hateful people. I’m not gonna allow this situation to outweigh the positive. I love you guys right back and I promise to make things right. PS sorry about the terrible grammar
We love to see our favorite fighters abuse you guys. Love the show, keep it up you guys.
Lorenzo Fertitta Confirms Dos Santos vs. Overeem May 26, Velasquez vs. Mir, Ortiz vs. Griffin III, More
Lorenzo Fertitta breaking some pretty big news items in an impromptu recent Twitter Q&A session. Here’s a quick rundown…
— Lorenzo confirmed that Junior dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem will headline their Memorial Day Weekend card on May 26. The card is expected to take place in Las Vegas.
— Cain Velasquez vs. Frank Mir is in the works, but Fertitta didn’t say when it would happen.
— Tito Ortiz’s final opponent will in fact be Forrest Griffin. It’s also unclear when that fight will happen.
— In reaction to Nick Diaz’s positive marijuana test, Lorenzo said he was “disappointed because [he] really likes him,” but it’s in the NSAC’s hands now. He added that Nick “just needs to get it together,” and that he will be back once his suspension is over. Lorenzo’s “a sap for real fighters.”
— Lorenzo isn’t sure if Carlos Condit will defend his interim welterweight title before fighting Georges St. Pierre.
— Jon Jones vs. Anderson Silva might be a possibility down the road.
— Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo is a “good idea” if Edgar beats Ben Henderson.
— Lorenzo agrees with Dana White that Mayhem Miller “looked terrible” against Michael Bisping.
— “Sure,” they would still consider signing Fedor Emelianenko for the right price and terms.
— Not interested in bringing Tim Sylvia back.
— They would be interested in signing Bellator’s Hector Lombard and Alexander Shlemenko.