According to an April 29 post from Bleacher Report, Alexander Gustafsson isn’t sure that Jon Jones will be able to fight inside the UFC Octagon any time in the near future.
Gustafsson, the man many think is next in line to battle Jones, believes the UFC champ may be sidelined until the end of the year, so he might have to fight Lyoto Machida in the meantime.
“I could fight Jones in September, but if he’s coming back at the end of this year…I can’t wait that long,” Gustafsson said. “I need to fight. Let’s see what happens.”
Jones suffered a horrific injury to his big toe during his UFC 159 fight against Chael Sonnen, so he may be out for an extended period of time.
“I want to fight for the title and that’s what I want to do. But I’m not going to wait,” Gustafsson said on The MMA Hour broadcast. “If Jones can’t fight, which I would understand because [the toe injury] looked very nasty…I’ll fight Machida, too…if that’s what the UFC wants, of course, and if Machida wants it, no problem.”
Following UFC 159, Jones said he didn’t immediately know when the toe break occurred.
“I don’t know, but when my adrenaline calms down, I’m going to be in some pain tonight,” Jones said. “I was just so happy to get past Chael Sonnen. Chael Sonnen’s an awesome opponent. We went through a lot of drama that motivated me a lot.”
Will Jones ever be the same fighter following his gruesome toe break? The jury is still out.
The big toe must have good mobility for any activity that requires forceful push-off with the foot, which is just about everything when it comes to MMA fighting.
Much of Jones’ effectiveness comes from his crafty footwork and elite work in the clinch when pressed up against the cage. Both of those skills are in serious jeopardy now that Jones ravaged his big toe.
Jones is now on crutches, with no weight on the foot for at least a few weeks.
Jones’ big toe will be completely immobilized, to prevent movement and to allow for healing.
“My toe is not doing great, but I’m doing great, so my toe is doing great,” Jones said after defeating Chael Sonnen in the UFC 159 headliner. “It was somewhere near late in the round and I was springing forward and a felt a ‘pop.’ I thought my foot had got caught in a hole — I’ve had that happen at Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA, we have a hole in our canvas. I stubbed my big toe in it, and I was fine, but I told coach that we need to get it fixed because it’s pretty dangerous. I thought that was the scenario here tonight, but when the fight was over and I saw blood, then I look closer and saw that my toe was upside-down.”
Once Jones is ready to return, he might receive the opportunity to fight the greatest MMA warrior of all-time, Anderson Silva.
The legendary Brazilian has a fight lined up against Chris Weidman, but a win there could set up the biggest UFC superfight of all-time.