It’s been four days since Saturday’s thrilling war between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, and intriguing details about the UFC 165 headliner are still coming to light. Of course, since the fight was also ridiculously important and saw the planet’s consensus G.O.A.T. nearly lose his title, the MMA world is still buzzing about the scrap.
As some fans and pundits thought might be the case, Gustafsson’s striking came through for him early on, and he was able to cut the light-heavyweight champ over the right eye. Although Jones started pouring it on as the fight entered the championship rounds, the cut was bad, as in really bad. Referee “Big” John McCarthy appeared on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour” and was understandably asked about the cut, which Dana White relayed afterwards was threatening the fight heading into the final round.
“That cut happened in the very first round, but it continued to evolve throughout the fight,” McCarthy relayed. “By the time it got between the fourth and fifth round, the cut was actually — there was an upper level one that was on his eyebrow, and it creased off, like a point had been crossed into his eyelid. There was a flap of skin. So the doctor absolutely had a reason to be concerned with the cut that Jon had.”
White also credited McCarthy for “pleading” with doctors, alongside Jones, to allow the bout to continue. While the renowned McCarthy downplayed the role he played in ensuring the fight went into the fifth, he did acknowledge that things were getting dicey.
“I said, ‘Jason, this is the last round. I think you need to let him go. I will look at it. If it gets worse, I promise you I will bring him to you.’ He said okay. That’s both of us working as a team together. He let the fight go on, the cut didn’t get any worse, and the fight came to its natural conclusion the way it should’ve.”
It would have been an awful ending to a classic fight if Jones hadn’t been allowed to come out for the last five minutes. Thankfully the cut didn’t get to the point where they had no choice.
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