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After nearly suffering one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, Jon Jones avoided tapping to Vitor Belfort's armbar attempt, but did "Bones" avoid broken bones?
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was one of the biggest favorites in the history of the UFC coming in to his title fight with Vitor Belfort at UFC 152. Arguably the "least-deserving" fighter of Jones' title fights, Belfort ended up coming closest to defeating Jones with a first-round armbar. Jones (barely) got out of it but was visibly favoring it afterwards as he elbowed Belfort for the remainder of the fight before an Americana submission win. Jones was put on indefinite medical suspension following the fight, pending an x-ray on his right arm. Greg Jackson went on Sherdog today to put to rest any talk his arm dislocated:
"It didn’t dislocate or anything," Jackson told the Sherdog Radio Network’s "Beatdown" show. "I’m sure it’s just strained, and maybe a bursa sac or two went out, but I don’t think it’s going to be anything major."
Of course, this is word-of-mouth and not an official medical conclusion, something that has yet to be confirmed by Jones or anyone taking the x-rays.
The armbar was something no one really expected given Belfort had only 1 submission via armbar way back in 1997. It was near consensus that Belfort's path to victory was a lightning-quick KO. If Belfort was able to break the arm and force the stoppage it would've been his 2nd submission win in a row. Jones certainly didn't look prepared for it but Jackson says that they were actually training for it.
"We had trained for the armbars," Jackson said. "Vitor’s really, really good at it and was able to lock it on before Jon could really get his counter in. It was incredibly quick, and that’s a testament to Vitor’s skill. We had watched him and trained for it, but he was fast. He caught Jon, and Jon was able to work out of it, but yeah, it was very impressive that we were ready for it and [Belfort] still got it."
The Belfort fight does really put the original plan to fight Dan Henderson into perspective. Unlike Belfort, Henderson isn't a Carlson Gracie black-belt and he has shown pretty much zero ability to get a submission off of his back. Unless he landed the H-Bomb early, there's no way Dan wouldn't be on the ground and taking shot after shot. It'll be interesting to see who Jones fights next after finally showing a smidgen of vulnerability.