According to an April 28 report from Bloody Elbow, the toe break Jon Jones suffered during his UFC 159 fight against MMA veteran Chael Sonnen, may be career-altering.
During the UFC 159 fight, Jones suffered a horrific injury to his big toe. Jones’ injury was essentially an open fracture dislocation of the great toe, which appeared to involve the interphalangeal joint of the toe.
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.”
Jones says the injury won’t slow him down, but the toe was badly broken.
“This toe is not going to slow me down, no way,” Jones said after beating Sonnen. “With the coaching staff that I have, to be dead honest with you, I don’t think they would have allowed me to dwell on it too much. They probably would have tried twisting on it and making me go back out there. That’s the name of the game — try to live like a warrior, be a warrior. And unless I go through crazy stuff like that I’ll never know how much of a warrior I can be.”
Jones says he’ll be back, better than ever.
“It’s all good,” Jones said after his big win over Sonnen. “I was planning on working hard in the offseason and doing things [in training] even better, cleaner and more grown up. This is going to give me a great reason to do that, rehab my big toe, make sure that I not only get it back to full strength, but stronger than it was before.”
Time will tell if Jones will ever be the same, but foot work is key inside the cage. Without the ability to plant the foot hard against the mat, it will be tough for Jones to be effective in clinch work against the fence.
No word yet on when Jones plans to return to action. UFC 159 was held on April 27 in Newark, New Jersey.
As for Sonnen, he was left contemplating retirement following the loss to Jones at UFC 159.
“What am I going to do?” Sonnen said at the UFC 159 post-fight press conference. “I’m terrible. I lost to (Jones and Anderson Silva). What are they going to do? Put me in with Wanderlei Silva? Who else am I supposed to beat around here? I’ve had a lot of fights and they haven’t all gone my way. But I’ve only been beat up twice, and that was No. 2. And he beat me at my own game. It’s frustrating. It’s tough, and that’s it.”