As we all know by now, the former UFC light heavyweight champion and current pound-for-pound king Jon Jones returns to the cage after nearly a 16-month layoff in an interim title bout against Ovince Saint Preux in UFC 197's main event this weekend. He was supposed to rematch current champion Daniel Cormier, who captured UFC gold after Bones was stripped of his title due to legal issues last year, but DC was forced out of the contest with an injury. It was announced shortly after that OSP would be stepping up on short notice for the biggest fight of his life.
Cormier suffered an interosseous membrane injury to the left leg. Here's what physical therapist Kevin Nicholson had to say about the injury in a FanPost on BloodyElbow.com earlier this month:
"The interosseous membrane holds the fibula and tibia together," he wrote. "It is a thick structure extending between the tibia and fibula bones of the leg, and runs nearly the entire length between the 2 bones as shown in the picture below."
Despite the above information on Cormier's injury, at an ESPN car wash in Bristol, CT earlier this week (H/T MMAFighting.com), the former UFC titleholder questioned whether or not Cormier actually suffered an injury, or was just 'hurt.'
"You know, it's hard to say. I wasn't there in the workout room with him when he got injured I'll say," he said. "But, there's been lots of rumors that he was hurt, not injured. And to drop the fight being 'hurt,' it just makes no sense. My body, I have aches and little nooks and crannies all over my body, but it's the cost of being an elite level athlete. You fight through that stuff."
Nevertheless, Cormier did indeed pull out of the fight and Jones now faces Saint Preux in the main event of UFC 197, which takes place live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday, April 23.