The injury that forced UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to withdraw from his first title defense at UFC 133 will not require surgery, contradicting earlier diagnoses.
Jones' manager, Malki Kawa, tweeted the news on Friday.
“I guess it’s time to put out the truth. [Jones] suffered a tear in his thumb in two different spots. Every [doctor] he saw said to have surgery,” wrote Kawa. “We went to meet with the surgeon on Wednesday and after he looked at [Jones], he thought that surgery was a bit [invasive] and 'Bones' didn't have to have [it] if he didn't want to.”
According to Kawa, Jones decided that surgery was not his desired course of action. Instead, “Bones” and his manager met with UFC executives Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta the following day to schedule Jones’ next bout.
However, the man Jones was originally supposed to face has already begun to question the validity of the injury that led to Jones’ withdrawal from their planned August clash, as Rashad Evans took to Twitter to address the champ's situation.
“Question: If you were so confident, then why fake a thumb injury?” Evans wrote. “[Because] just between me and y'all, he don't need surgery!”
Kawa asserts that Jones followed the proper procedure in receiving multiple medical opinions in cooperation with the UFC.
“For the record, every doctor [Jones] saw was a UFC-referred doctor,” Kawa wrote. “The very last one on the day before surgery thought against it.”
Regarding Jones' return to the cage, nothing has been announced as of yet. However, Kawa asserted that the champion will be medically cleared to fight after June 11 and could make his return by the end of the year.