(“So grateful to have Alistair Overeem as a new teammate!! What a humble and hard-working individual” — Jon Jones on July 18th. Keep reading, this will become relevant soon.)
By now, you’ve surely heard that Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier has been postponed to January due to Bones suffering a torn left meniscus and sprained ankle in training on Monday. We should point out that these things happen all the time in MMA, and it’s nobody’s fault…but feel free to shake your little fists at Alistair Overeem. From a Sherdog report:
According to [Jones's trainer Greg Jackson], the injury occurred while Jones was defending a takedown from UFC heavyweight talent Alistair Overeem during wrestling practice.
“It’s part of the game, it wasn’t like…somebody went for a flying kick and dislocated [something]. Somebody went for a takedown, [Jones] stepped the wrong way, twisted the wrong way and down he went. He was fighting it, and he just twisted it. And then it just popped,” Jackson said.
“Alistair’s maybe 240, Jon’s 220. It’s not like he was working with a giant moose. It was just one of those things.”
I’m sure Jackson’s right, but considering that Overeem previously left the Blackzilians team in the wake of allegations that he destroyed Guto Inocente’s knee out of frustration, it doesn’t reflect well on the Reem as a training partner.
As you can imagine, Jones’s rivals Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson have some opinions about the scrapped fight between Jones and DC. Short version: They’re not too psyched about it. First, here’s Cormier respectfully implying that Jones is a pussy…
It’s very disappointing,” Cormier told MMAFighting.com. “I started to train very hard. It’s a little discouraging, but now I have time to get completely healthy. I don’t know how hurt Jon is but we have to remember that I took this fight with a pre-existing (knee) injury. I could have fought through it, I just wish he would have done the same.”
Cormier expanded on his thoughts during an appearance on FOX Sports 1′s America’s Pregame show yesterday:
“I’ll get a full training camp now,” Cormier said. “When I heard Jon was hurt, now him and Gustafssson are on the same schedule in order to be healthy. So my first question was, ‘I don’t have to go behind Gustafsson again now, right?’ And I was assured that it’s going to be me in January. He’s not going to take my place again…
“I said from the beginning that Jon Jones isn’t afraid of anyone,” Cormier said. “But if I can go in there with a partially torn ACL, I think he should have fought; tough it up and fight.
“I don’t know the extent of his injuries, and if it’s really bad, I’ll take it back. But on the surface, I heard he hurt himself. But people hear ACL, they think you’re out for a year. I’ve been hurt, and I’ve been training. I wish he would have just fought.
“I’m saying tough it out sometimes,” he added. “Sometimes you’ve got to go in there and tough it out and just fight…
“I think people recognize that it’s a big fight,” he said. “I think by January, people will understand, and maybe people will stop thinking about us fighting on stage or getting caught cussing each other when the cameras were on.
“You’ve got two of the best fighters in the world competing for the light heavyweight championship, so maybe it will let some of this time die down, people worrying about the stuff outside the cage and focus on the fact that in 37 fights, Jon Jones has not lost two rounds combined. But in terms of fan interest, people were excited about this fight, and I’m glad that they’re still going to get the fight.”
So, there’s a silver lining for Daniel Cormier. Meanwhile, Alexander Gustafsson is getting straight screwed. Keep in mind that Cormier was originally an injury replacement for Gustafsson, who had to withdraw from his rematch against Jones due to a knee injury of his own. Now that Jones and Gustafsson will be healthy again around the same time, shouldn’t the UFC go back to Plan A, and re-book Jones vs. Gustafsson? Well, of course not, because now everybody wants to see Jones and Cormier settle their feud.
“It was MY fight to begin with and I WANT the fight as the number 1 contender. End of story!!”, Gustafsson wrote on Facebook. “Apparently @ufc thinks that acting like clowns on a press conference will hype a fight more than doing the fight of the century, that’s ridiculous,” Gustafsson added.
Well, it’s reality. Instead of complaining on social media, maybe Gustafsson should start tossing publicists off a stage and throwing his shoes. That’ll get our attention.
Gustafsson’s next opponent and return date are TBA.