The heart of Jon Jones was made clear this past Saturday as he endeared what he believed to be the breaking of his arm – only to refuse to tap.
“He got that armbar in every way, shape and form,” Jones reflected. “I’ve never had my arm pop like that before. I felt it, but I worked too hard to give up. I was honestly waiting for it to break, but I wasn’t going to tap out. It just felt numb.”
Coaching that night in Jones’ corner was head coach Greg Jackson, as he admits the pride he has for his star pupil not giving in to the pain.
“It’s a personal choice, and when there’s a lot on the line, like a world title, I think that’s what you have to do,” Jackson said of Jones’ refusal to tap. “You have to kind of have that mentality where you’re not going to get stopped. As you’re coming up [the ranks], it’s a personal choice for the fighter, but it’s not nearly as important. When you’ve got your world title on the line, it becomes pretty important. It’s a good mentality to have. I was very proud of him for just saying, you know what, I’m going to gut through it and get through it. I thought it was kind of inspirational.”
Word spread quickly the day after the fight that Jones was seen at his brothers NFL game with a sling supporting the injured arm. According to coach Jackson, the elbow that Jones heard ‘pop,’ suffered no serious injuries.
“It didn’t dislocate or anything,” Jackson told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I’m sure it’s just strained, and maybe a bursa sac or two went out, but I don’t think it’s going to be anything major.”
Coach Jackson is known for his extensive game-planning, usually being steps ahead of the opposing team. This time Jackson admits that he expected the armbar attack and trained it, but clearly not enough.
“We had trained for the armbars. Vitor’s really, really good at it and was able to lock it on before Jon could really get his counter in. It was incredibly quick, and that’s a testament to Vitor’s skill. We had watched him and trained for it, but he was fast. He caught Jon, and Jon was able to work out of it, but yeah, it was very impressive that we were ready for it and [Belfort] still got it.”