At UFC 152 UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones came as close to losing his title when Vitor Belfort kicked off the cage and sunk an armbar until the elbow popped loud enough to hear.
“He got that armbar in every way, shape and form,” Jones reflected. “I’ve never had my arm pop like that before. I felt it, but I worked too hard to give up. I was honestly waiting for it to break, but I wasn’t going to tap out. It just felt numb.”
“It’s a personal choice, and when there’s a lot on the line, like a world title, I think that’s what you have to do,” Jackson said of Jones’ refusal to tap. “You have to kind of have that mentality where you’re not going to get stopped. As you’re coming up [the ranks], it’s a personal choice for the fighter, but it’s not nearly as important. When you’ve got your world title on the line, it becomes pretty important. It’s a good mentality to have. I was very proud of him for just saying, you know what, I’m going to gut through it and get through it. I thought it was kind of inspirational.”
Jones was spotted with his arm in a sling the next day as he watched his brothers compete on separate NFL teams. However, n an interview on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show, Jones' coach Greg Jackson said the injury was not serious.
“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.”
“We had trained for the armbars. 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.”
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Listen to entire interview... (1:55:52 mark)
UFC President Dana White made similar remarks at the UFC on FUEL TV pre fight press conference.
"Reports I've heard is that it was better than we thought," said White. "Not that good (that he could fight in December), but we'll see. I don't know all the details yet, but it's nothing horrible – or I would've heard already."
"He wanted to see his doctor first. Then we'll fly him out to the West Coast and he'll see our doctor. I just don't see him being out that long. It doesn't seem like it's going to be that bad. Believe me, if it was going to be that (long), he'd be in some serious pain and we'd know. I don't think it's going to be that bad – which is amazing, considering that armbar."
"(I have) nothing but respect for the fight he fought that night."
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