Though Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida is a match-up which generates plenty of intrigue and raises some interesting questions, it was no doubt a let down for most to learn today that Jones would not be making his next belt defense against his rival and former teammate Rashad Evans.
Evans has been nursing a hand injury since UFC 133 in August, but expected to be recovered in time to face Jones after he defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson last month – unfortunately, that turned out to not be the case. Suga today released a statement in regards to how he found out during his most recent trip to the doctor that his injury requires more rehab and will see his bout with Jones postponed for a second time.
“After my last fight against Tito Ortiz, I dislocated my right thumb, which required it to be set back in place and held with pins,” explained the former light heavyweight champ in a written statement. “24 hours ago, my physician removed the pins. At that time, I learned that it would require another three weeks of rehabilitation before engaging in any exercise or training that would require the use of my hand.”
Though Evans wants nothing more than to win back his title by defeating a bitter rival in Jones, he has no hard feelings toward the UFC heads for deciding to replace him with Lyoto Machida in order to keep things moving. In fact, he said that he would have done the same thing in that position.
“Dana White and I spoke earlier today, and I fully understand his decision to put Machida against Jones for the title at UFC 140,” he said. “Given the rehabilitation time I require for my dislocated thumb, I would not be 100 percent ready by December 10. The UFC has to keep making fights that entertain the fans. I would have done the same thing as Dana in his position. I’m asking for the fans to support me as I rehabilitate my hand, and I promise I will be back fighting very quickly.”