Jon “Bones” Jones may have successfully defended his UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 159, but it almost cost him his big toe.
The 25-year-old UFC star suffered the gruesome toe injury during Saturday’s UFC 159 clash with rival fighter Chael Sonnen. Jones believes that he suffered the injury during a takedown of Sonnen, where his toe may have fallen through a gap in the mat, Fox Sports reports.
See a photo of Jones' gruesome toe injury here (WARNING: This image is graphic).
“I looked down and saw blood,” Jones told Fox Sports. “The closer I looked; I saw that my toe was upside down. Maybe it’s not that serious of an injury. Who knows?”
UFC president Dana White described the toe injury as a “compound fracture,” Fox Sports reports.
Despite the near loss of his big toe, Jones rallied to defeat Sonnen in a dominant first-round TKO. The 6-foot-4 fighter trapped Sonnen with 27 seconds remaining in the round, unleashing a series of elbows and punches until the referee decided to end the match.
Ironically, White claimed that the referee would never have allowed the fight to continue had he known the extent of the damage to Jones’ toe.
“He wouldn’t have been able to go back out,” White told Fox Sports. “They would have stopped the fight. A bone was sticking out of his toe.”
Luckily, the injury to Jones' toe was treated without further complication. The hard-nosed fighter tweeted a photo of the repaired toe after the fight, writing, "Got my big toe back intact :)."
Despite the possibility of an injury stoppage, Sonnen claimed that he was under “no illusions” as to who was the better fighter. The normally outspoken fighter was contrite in defeat, stating that Jones is “very powerful.”
“When he went for the kill, he never stopped,” Sonnen told UFC analyst Joe Rogan. “I thought I was alright, but I think he’s a better fighter.”
Jones and Sonnen have been intense rivals since January, when they both appeared as coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show. Jones’ victory brought months of trash talk between the two fighters to an abrupt end.
The victory over Sonnen marks Jones’ fifth successful defense of the UFC light heavyweight title, tying the record set by octagon legend Tito Ortiz and setting up a potential “Super Fight” between Jones and middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Fox Sports reports.