‘Mission complete’ – Jon Jones gets surgery; doctor says UFC champ could return sooner than 8 months

A surgeon says UFC champ Jon Jones could make a full recovery much shorter than the 8-month estimate they gave.

By: Anton Tabuena | 1 month ago
‘Mission complete’ – Jon Jones gets surgery; doctor says UFC champ could return sooner than 8 months
Louis Grasse / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

Jon Jones has issued his first statements since pulling out of UFC 295 title defense against Stipe Miocic. The UFC heavyweight champion says he’s “very upset” about how it all turned out, and revealed that he is about to get surgery.

Jon Jones apologizes to Stipe Miocic for cancelled fight

“Obviously, very sad situation, very upset,” Jon Jones said on Instagram. “But I’ve been through a lot of things in life, and injuries is a part of being an athlete.

“I want to thank the UFC for getting me in to one of the best doctors in the country,” he said. “I wanted to say thank you to Stipe Miocic for all the work that he’s put in. Also, sorry to Stipe and his team. Like I said, this comes with the territory.”

Jon Jones plans to attend UFC 295, rebook Miocic fight

In the short video, the heavyweight champion also confirmed that the plan is to rebook the Stipe Miocic fight as soon as he recovers.

“The goal is to get surgery tomorrow, get back to work as soon as possible. I guess it will be Stipe and I at a later date, and that’s my plan,” Jones said. “It will be surgery and physical therapy for me for the next several months, but I’m committed. My head is high.”

“Thank you for everyone that prayed for me. Again, sincere apology to the fans,” he said. “I know it’s a big commitment to head out to Madison Square Garden. Hopefully, these other heavyweights, Aspinall and Sergei put it on a great show for you guys. I may even show up to the event to watch. But I love you all, and your boy Jon Jones is doing okay. I’ll be okay.”

Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic won't happen at UFC 295.
Louis Grasse / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

Doctor: Jon Jones could recover much earlier than 8 months

The initial announcement from Dana White cited Jones to be sidelined for about eight months, but an orthopedic surgeon recently explained that is likely a conservative estimate.

“Brutal news about Jon Jones, the fact that he tore his pec muscle off of the bone. This is an injury we sometimes see with bench press on the way down. It can also happen when your arm gets overly stretched, placing too much stress on the tendon,” Dr. David Abbasi said.

“It will tear and retract, and that’s the reason you need to have surgery on these sooner rather than later. Because it can actually scar in and you’re unable to stretch it back for the repair. Surgeons will go in and repair this.

“I do think the time line of the eight months seems to be a bit long. A lot of these can reach a full recovery in four to six months,” he said. “From my personal experience, a lot of these guys are jumping the gun because they feel so good. Hopefully he can comeback a little bit sooner, but definitely bad news for Jon Jones and he did definitely need to get this addressed now.”

White announcing an eight-month recovery could’ve always just been a conservative estimate to give Jones more than enough time to rehab and put in a full training camp, but it’s positive news to hear it’s possible to recover much quicker.

Either way, whether it’s four, six or eight months, this injury will only ensure an even lengthier hiatus for the two decorated but mostly inactive fighters. Miocic is now 41 and hasn’t fought in the last two years already, while Jones has just one fight in the last three years, with likely about a year more of inactivity for both men due to this.

UPDATE: Jon Jones gets successful surgery

Jones recently posted an update on his injury from the hospital bed.

“Mission complete,” he said on Instagram immediately after surgery. “Now it’s time for the road to recovery.”

March 4, 2023, Las Vegas, NV, LAS VEGAS, NV, USA: LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 4: Jon Jones prepares to fight Ciryl Gane in their Heavyweight fight during the UFC 285 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 4, 2023 in Las Vegas, NV, USA. Las Vegas, NV USA - ZUMAp175 20230304_zsa_p175_246
Louis Grasse / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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