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‘It was a nice little distraction’ — Jon Jones explains toe tape fiasco at UFC 285

The newly crowned UFC heavyweight champion says he only just narrowly avoided disaster on Saturday. 

Jon Jones ahead of his fight with Ciryl Gane at UFC 285.
Jon Jones ahead of his fight with Ciryl Gane at UFC 285.
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

It appears Jon Jones barely avoided a ‘disaster’ before his fight with Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 this past Saturday.

As Jones was entering the Octagon, a Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) official pointed out the tape on his foot. ‘Bones’ had his big and second toe tapped together, which the official said he could not have. After a few seconds of discussion, one of Jones’ cornermen cut off some of it, leaving his big toe tapped.

That was enough for the official to allow Jones to proceed, but the former UFC light heavyweight champion was none too pleased to deal with that distraction before his much-anticipated return.

“I used a different tape,” said Jones during his post-fight press conference (video provided by MMA Fighting). “I usually use a certain brand of tape. I’ll give them a shoutout, War Tape. I feel like it’s just a lot stickier. I used the UFC’s tape tonight and as soon as my body started to sweat, the tape was sliding all over the place.

“So, I made almost like a little cast around my toe that linked down to the middle of my foot so that the tape wouldn’t slide off my toes,” continued Jones. “And when I got out there, the commission was just like, ‘You can’t tape your feet.’ And I’m like, ‘Dude, I’ve always taped my feet’.”

Despite the distraction, Jones went on to run through Gane, who was forced to tap to a guillotine choke in the first round. And though he had no issues with ‘Bon Gamin,’ there was one with his toe tape.

As he had Gane up against the cage, the tape on Jones’ toe started sliding off. It was a worrisome moment for Jones, who has routinely taped his toe since breaking it in his fight against Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 nearly a decade ago. The 35-year-old said he hoped this tape trouble was one and done because without it on his toe, he may not set foot in the Octagon.

“I’m not going to compete if I can’t tape my toes,” said Jones. “I just won’t do it. I want everyone to know that for the future, so thank God we didn’t have a disaster out there tonight. But they ended up changing the tone a little bit. They allowed me to keep my toes taped and they made me take the rest of the tape off the rest of my foot. It was a nice little distraction going into the fight.”

Jones improved to 27-1 (1) after his win over Gane.

About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)

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