UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon “Bones” Jones (19-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC), was rumored to headline both UFC 169 and then UFC 170, opposite #1 contender Glover Teixeira (22-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC).
However, due to health reasons, Jones will not return to the octagon until March, as he told MMAJunkie’s Mike Bohn:
“The reason why I didn’t take the fight [in February] is because I don’t feel my body is ready for a training camp,” Jones told Bohn. “I wanted to be there for the fans, I wanted to be there for the UFC, but in order for me to do that, I need to listen to my body and come prepared to compete, and that’s being healthy.”
Jones is still recovering from the five-round war he had with Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson at September’s UFC 165 event in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
“Bones” suffered a large laceration at the hands of his Swedish opponent and also aggravated the brutal toe injury he suffered in his fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 159, which is why he declined to fight on the February cards:
“My eye is definitely not ready to be punched,” Jones said. “I’m afraid that it could reopen, which would make scarring terrible and prolong the whole thing even more. My foot is definitely not ready to go yet. I wake up to step off the bed, and it’s cracking and crackling and stuff. I’m just not ready for the training camp.”
Jones went on to say that training for a bout in February would have also hampered his personal plans:
“I’ve spent the last three Christmases in Albuquerque, and I really want to just be with my family back in New York state and let my kids see Christmas the way it’s supposed to be,” Jones said. “That’s a big reason why I kind of delayed that next fight until March.”
Although a date for his seventh title-defense has not been made official, his opponent has and Jones knows that Glover is a dangerous man:
“He’s just an amazing athlete,” said Jones “(He’s) a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, one of the best boxers I’ve ever faced, probably has the most knockout power I’ve ever gone against. It’s just a big match. He’s a big, scary, intimidating dude, and when I fight these guys, it brings out the best in me.”