LAS VEGAS – While his withdrawal from UFC 169 was called a miscommunication, UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones‘ subsequent removal from UFC 170 recently came with no explanation. However, UFC President Dana White finally offered the reasoning for the moves.
Jones (19-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC), who squeaked by Alexander Gustafsson on Sept. 21 at UFC 165, was subsequently booked to fight Glover Teixeira(22-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC). The plan was for Jones to fight on Super Bowl weekend near his New York home, at Newark, N.J.’s Prudential Center.
However, this past month, White said the organization’s PR team jumped the gun in announcing the Feb. 1 fight.
Then, this past Wednesday, Jones and Teixeira, who are ranked No. 1 and No. 5 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light-heavyweight rankings, were subsequently announced as headliners for UFC 170 on Feb. 22 in Las Vegas. But the following day, White said the bout had been scrapped, and he offered no explanation for the quick cancellation.
But following Saturday’s UFC 167 event, White confirmed Jones’ removal was due to lingering injuries.
“Jon Jones went back in the gym and just didn’t feel good,” he told MMAjunkie. “He said his legs were still bothering him and his eye is bothering him. He still banged up from that fight.”
Although the Gustafsson fight, which marked Jones’ sixth consecutive title defense, took place eight weeks ago, White said the champ’s lingering issues are understandable.
“That fight wasn’t that long ago,” he said. “It’s like being in a car accident.”
While Teixeira isn’t expected to fight a replacement and will simply wait for his title shot, White isn’t sure when the continually delayed championship bout might finally take place.
“We’re still working on that deal,” he said.
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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