Jon Jones Explains His Scratch From UFC’s February Card

Jon Jones Explains His Scratch From UFC’s February Card


UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones was recently assigned his next bout; a contest between himself and number one contender, Glover Teixeira.

However within 24 hours of the match being announced, UFC President Dana White retracted the proclamation, stating that Jones was (now) a scratch for the bout and that the fight would be rescheduled for some time in March. As to the reasons why the fight was put off thirty days White offered no explanation, other than to say Jones was suffering from some undisclosed injury.

With two weeks gone off the calendar, Jones has now spoken up regarding the reasons for him postponing the February match. As Jones tells it, his reasons were twofold: injury and family.

In speaking with MMAjunkie Jones addressed the first issue, as such:

“The reason why I didn’t take the fight is because I don’t feel my body is ready for a training camp. I wanted to be there for the fans, I wanted to be there for the UFC, but in order for me to do that, I need to listen to my body and come prepared to compete, and that’s being healthy.

My eye is definitely not ready to be punched. I’m afraid that it could re-open, which would make scarring terrible, and prolong the whole thing even more. My foot is definitely not ready to go yet. I wake up to step off the bed, and its cracking and crackling and stuff. I’m just not ready for the training camp.”

In considering what the champ has been through in his last two fights, it’s hard not to see how Jones might still be banged up and in not ready for his Octagon duties.

As fans know, he soundly beat Chael Sonnen back in April, at UFC 159; however, he severely broke his left toe in doing so. Post his rehab and a short five months later, he was back in the ring facing the biggest threat of his career in the way of Alexander Gustafsson, and in defending his title for the sixth straight time, Jones took a lot of damage. On that point, it also appears, at least from the champ’s statements, that he may have reinjured his left foot during his bout with Gustafsson. If so, it only compounds and probably extends his recovery time.

Taking it all into consideration, it seems reasonable to consider that putting Jones back in the ring five months past the Gustafsson fight, might be asking a little much of “Bones”.

Of course, an interesting question might be this, what does an extra 30 days do him? Not to question the champ on the extra time, but in light of his comments, one would think it reasonable that he would ask for 60 or 90 days, and not 30.

Beyond the injuries, Jones cited his family and most particularly his children, and the season, for postponing his February fight.

As the champ put it:    

“I’ve spent the last three Christmases in Albuquerque, and I really want to just be with my family back in New York State and let my kids see Christmas the way it’s supposed to be. That’s a big reason why I kind of delayed that next fight until March.”

In terms of Jones wanting to be able to have a normal Christmas with his family and in his native New York, it’s hard to blame him. Since becoming champion back in March of 2011, Jones has defended his title every five months and certainly can’t be called a lazy champ. As such, I don’t think fans will begrudge him the extra time to heal up or the time with his family over Christmas.

That said, it’s nice that Jones has finally spoken up and let the fans know what the state of his health is and that it’s nothing too serious. Surely, fans will wish the champ all the best over the holidays and that he’s healed up and ready to go for March.

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  • DeeJaySlyTee

    Fighters have it easy nowadays.. Back in the day for instance, boxing.. Robinson, Pep, Lamotta, Moore, to name a few where boxing every other week!

    • Bruce Lee

      I get your meaning DeeJay but it was unwise then and doesn't mean they have it easy today just because they are looking after their health. Fighters then didn't train 40 hours a week and there was no concern about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (punch drunk).

      • DeeJaySlyTee

        I beg the differ Michael but they had camps just like they do in MMA. Ofcoarse the training Equipment, strategies, supplements have evolved with time but you can't take away they busted their a– and then some back in the heyday.. Keep in mind that you cannot compare a 20-25 year Boxing career to an MMA average of 3-6 years.

        • Bruce Lee

          Perhaps you are right although I remember 10 years ago or so it seemed that many / most MMA fighters had other jobs. MMA as a full time job is relatively new. Although, as you say, if you fought every two weeks I guess you had to stay in shape.

          • Brian Cox

            Michael, I think the sport has change so much, that we can no longer think or consider, how it used to be.

            My view of it today, would be that any fighter that requires a career, not a job, because the UFC is not a job, it's a career and fighting is a life style, not a hobby, that they are doomed to failure, abject poverty, beatings and a whole lot of medical bills, that post surgery, I'm not sure the UFC's medical plan covers.

            Question to you:

            Does the UFC have a full-time doctor on staff and someone that is on the other side of a "Chinese Wall". A qualified professional who sits around pondering these questions all day? If they don't they should have one. Actually, they should have a panel and the panel should be people such as yourself; not only doctors, but doctors who love MMA.

            That would be my criteria for the position, at least.

      • Brian Cox

        Michael, on a day when a fighter is laying in a CC unit fighting for his life and possibly as a result of his training, I think it's a smart move for the sport / UFC to be more concerned and not less, about fighter health. And I personally and cool with a fighter saying he's not ready. Two or three months, or whatever, means nothing in the big scheme of things.

        Let the fighters, particularly the champs with the big targets on their backs, fully recover before putting them back in the cage. The person most qualified to make that call is going to be the fighter and not Dana or anyone else.

        That would be my view of it, at least.

        • Bruce Lee

          Brian, you and I agree. I was very impressed when the UFC brought in health insurance. I've heard they are quick to provide a head MRI if needed. On TUF they sure get guys seen quickly.

          I was very disappointed though, recently, when Dana said there was nothing wrong with the weight cuts they day before a fight and they would stay. That practice is insane. Level the playing field and weigh in as you get to the ring to fight. It is simply mired in tradition. How long before we are looking at a tombstone related to that practice: "In memory of a once fluid man crammed and distorted by the classical mess".

          • Brian Cox

            Doc..I couldn't agree more. The fact that a larger fighter can cram into a division for a one, to three hour period, although exciting to watch in performance, is not good for the fighter's health.

            I've been an advocate of this for a long time, that a fighter must stay within a maximum of his weight class; no more than 15 pounds. Personally, I think that's more than a reasonable weight cut and would be sufficient enough, as to ensure a fighter's long term health.

            In a nutshell, if you want to fight in the division, stay in the division. The best example of which, might be Anthony Johnson, kidding himself he was a welterweight.

            On another note and speaking of challenging the human body, do you have any new endurance challenges coming up and how do you deal with the stress of that, upon your own body?

        •'emSock'em Rock’em Sock’em

          Dana White is urging for you to retire after that statement.

          • Brian Cox

            I'm going to funny that, because I sense sarcasm in your remark.

            That's the sort of thing my beloved "Stewie" / Entity would say.

          •'emSock'em Rock’em Sock’em


  • Bruce Lee

    Jones: "you see, I thought they said Grover…"

  •'emSock'em Rock’em Sock’em

    reoccurring injuries due to the September 21st mauling.

  • Zip

    When all else fails, pull out the family card chicken bones. If you were rematching Gus we would understand. BTW, try making your girlfriend with your kids your wife. That would be a good start, family guy.

    •'emSock'em Rock’em Sock’em

      oh you thought he was talking about the kids he has with girlfriend? lol no he means the kids he had with the two drunk chicks he was with when his car kissed a tree.
      That's family time al a Jones.

    • Brian Cox

      Zip…snap…and as a family values guy, I endorse that statement.

      Jones needs a good PR guy, because the point you raise on this issue, could easily look like an excuse and based solidly on the issue you raise, Zip.

      I understand Jon on this issue and if it is what it is, and I'm not saying it isn't, I completely understand his sentiments on the issue. That said, if I was his priest, rabbi, cleric, pastor, confessor, dad, brother or friend, I'd raise the very same point you do / did.

      What's the excuse? He's waiting to become successful?

      Stewie…if you're on this thread…please chime in; I need the laugh.

      Good for you Zip.