It was with a lot of disappointment in his voice, but Jon Jones had to make the call to tell the UFC that he was going to have to undergo surgery and would be unavailable to face Rashad Evans on schedule later this year.
Jones is of course coming off his championship win over Maurcio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 in March, and was rumored to face Evans later this year with the title on the line. The former training partners had already begun to engage in a bit of social networking war leading up to their fight, but it will all be put on hold, at least for the time being.
As for the UFC light heavyweight champion’s injury, Jones commented on his personal website on Monday, that it’s a longstanding problem that finally gave way and forced him to make a decision to get it fixed.
“This is an injury that’s been recurring since I was a college wrestler, it doesn’t affect my punching or grappling, but I am taking the time and the proper measures to correct this now, so that it doesn’t happen again,” said Jones. “I look forward to getting back to training and to my first title defense. As for Rashad, let’s see what happens with Phil Davis. I will be watching that fight with great interest.”
Jones suffered a torn ligament between his thumb and forefinger, and ultimately it forced him to take the time off to let it heal.
Ironically enough, while Jones and Evans are no longer training partners at Team Greg Jackson, they are under the same umbrella of representation at Authentic Sports Management.
Evans also issued a statement through his team expressing his feelings on facing Phil Davis instead of Jones in August.
“I’m looking forward to fighting Phil Davis August 6 at UFC 133, he’s a strong wrestler and a rising star in the light heavyweight division,” said Evans. “I wish Jon Jones a speedy recovery, he has something that belongs to me and when he’s ready, I’ll be waiting.”
Jones and Evans are both scheduled to appear at this weekend’s UFC Fan Expo in Toronto, and will continue with scheduled plans as they stand.
Jones is expected to have surgery on the torn ligament in his thumb, and then work on a rehab program to get him back in the Octagon.