UFC champ Jones facing possible nerve damage to bicep

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.

UFC signs $700 Million Deal w/ FOX!!

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UFC ON FOX - Begins airing Fall 2011

Dana White has been “no commenting” a lot during recent weeks. Especially when it came to the details of a potential deal arising quickly with FOX Network.

Offers have been piling up on the table.

Already negotiating a contract renewal with SpikeTV, the UFC also had new offers coming in from CBS, Comcast, and another unique opportunity to overtake the G4 network and turn the channel into a 24/7 MMA network.

Then the UFC then received an out of the park offer from FOX.  A seven-year deal worth over $100 million annually. This includes four prime time, LIVE  event broadcasts per year on FOX, and great time slots for the hit TV show The Ultimate Fighter. on the network channel and Fox Sports channels.

Dana White signs 7 Year, $100 Million deal with FOX

Dana White, UFC President signs 7 Year, $100 Million deal with FOX

“The Fox deal accelerated at 100 mph in recent months.”
- Dana White (UFC President)

Exposure for MMA and then UFC is continuing to skyrocket, and as mixed martial arts becomes more of a mainstream sports it’s clear that the sky’s the limit.

The UFC’s debut broadcast event on FOX will be from the Honda Center in Anaheim ,CA on November 12th, 2011.

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