Jon Jones dealing with potential nerve damage to right armPosted on September 23, 2012, 08:28 PM by Mike Drahota
While UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones emerged victorious with a submission over a game Vitor Belfort last night, it appears that he suffered damage that no other fighter had been able to affict upon him up to this point. Spending the aftermath of his title fight in a Toronto hospital due to a vicious first-round armbar that Jones said he felt pop, the reigning 205 lb. king could be on the shelf for some time. Sustaining possible nerve damage to his right arm, Jones was noticeably favoring the limb when his hand was raised in victory. He appeared late to the post-fight press conference with the arm in a sling and had this to say:
"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.” via MMAJunkie.com
The champ was reserved in victory and willing to accept defeat were his arm to break and the fight called. But he refused to tap out, and returned to not only fight but submit Belfort with a fourth-round Kimura. It was a testament to the will and determination of Jones, who has recently become public enemy number one as far as MMA goes for his refusal to fight Chael Sonnen and the subsequent cancellation of UFC 151. Jones still wants a fight with former scheduled opponent Dan Henderson, but we will have to wait and see if the stars will ever align for that matchup. For Belfort, it was a time where he showed a ton of heart and determination in nearly submitting one of the most dominant champions the UFC has ever seen. He knew he had his chance, and was gracious himself in defeat:
"I had my opportunity. 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."
Stay tuned to LowKick.com for more news on the Light Heavyweight title scene as it unfolds.