(Video courtesy of YouTube/MMACanada)
When news got out last week that the hand injury that forced Jon Jones out of his planned UFC 133 meeting with disgruntled former teammate Rashad Evans did not require surgery, and that the UFC light heavyweight champ’s manager Malki Kawa intimated that his client was likely to fight another opponent before facing Rashad, our first thought was, “Damn, it looks like Bones is just doing whatever he can to screw Rashad out of his shot.”
But then we said, “Nah, it must just be a coincidence,” when we heard Jones say they consulted with three doctors before deciding to forgo surgery and that, not to worry, he will still face Rashad somewhere down the road.
Well, it’s looking like our first inclination may have been correct.
In the video above Jones, who once said he would fake an injury to get out of fighting a teammate, stated that there’s plenty of time for him to fight Rashad, but before the fight happens he may take a bout with Quinton Jackson or Lyoto Machida to keep active, which is curious since neither fighter necessarily deserves the a title shot at the moment.
Machida is 1-2 in his last three bouts and the win he did get was against Randy Couture, who retired following the bout. Rampage has fared slightly better in his recent bouts especially in his razor close decision win over Machida at UFC 123 in November, but a win over a UFC castaway like Keith Jardine and a middleweight like Wanderlei Silva doesn’t make you a contender. Moving on.
You may recall the furor that erupted last week when Kawa said that there wasn’t enough time for Jones to prepare to step in for his UFC 133 replacement Phil Davis to fight Rashad because he would need eight weeks for such an important camp. The day Kawa tweeted the message, was exactly eight weeks out from the bout. The problem is, Jones is still in a brace and although he was told by doctors that he didn’t require surgery for the injury, he was not given medical clearance to fight. There’s a big difference between the two.