Jones received a cut over his right eye in the opening round that impaired his vision and proved difficult for his cutman to close. The ringside doctor took a close look at the laceration following the fourth round and considered stopping the fight.
“(Jones) has got a massive cut. I don’t know if you heard, but the doctors were going to stop the fight going into the last round because of the cut,” said UFC president Dana White during the event’s Post Show on Fox Sports 2.
“Jones begged them not to stop the fight. From what I understand, (referee John) McCarthy did too, pleaded them not to stop the fight,” added White.
Had the fight been stopped due to the cut, Gustafsson would be the new UFC light heavyweight champion. Instead, Jones was allowed to continue, had a strong effort in the final round, and retained his title by unanimous decision.
In his UFC 159 title defense against Chael Sonnen, Jones suffered a dislocated big toe that would have prevented him from continuing had Sonnen lasted just 27 more seconds and made it out of the first round. In back-to-back fights, Jones’ title reign was put in jeopardy.
With the win over Gustafsson on Saturday, Jones surpassed Tito Ortiz’ record for most title defenses in UFC light heavyweight history.
A rematch with Gustafsson at some point in time seems inevitable.