Jon Jones explained his withdrawal from UFC 178 on Wednesday. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will undergo surgery on Thursday, according to a statement on the fighter’s Facebook page.
“I’d like to apologize to all the fans who were excited for UFC 178. Earlier this week, I suffered an injury while training for the fight,” Jones wrote. “I’m having surgery tomorrow and I’m focused on recovering as quickly as possible. I look forward to getting back in the gym and defending my title on Jan. 3 in Las Vegas.”
Trainer Greg Jackson told Sherdog.com that Jones injured his knee defending an Alistair Overeem takedown attempt in wrestling practice on Monday. The champion is believed to have suffered a torn meniscus as well as a sprained ankle. As of yesterday, Jackson said the hope was for Jones to avoid surgery, but it appears that plans have changed.
“You want to be cut as little as possible,” Jackson said.
Considering all the pre-fight buildup, the UFC 178 headliner between Jones and Daniel Cormier was shaping up to be 2014’s most anticipated fight. Due to Jones’ injury, the light heavyweight title tilt has been moved to UFC 182 on Jan. 3. Meanwhile, a flyweight title bout between Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso has been named the new main event for UFC 178.
Jones, who turned 27 in July, has successfully defended his title seven times in the Octagon. Most recently, he took a dominant five-round verdict over Glover Teixeira at UFC 172 in April.
Cormier is unbeaten in 15 pro outings, including 205-pound wins over Patrick Cummins and Dan Henderson. The former Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix winner owns other notable triumphs against Antonio Silva, Josh Barnett, Frank Mir and Roy Nelson, to name a few.