Mma | Mike Winkeljohn: Jon Jones Couldn’t Lift Arm Two Days Before Beating Cormier At UFC 214

While JonJones looked better than ever in regaining the lightheavyweight crown at UFC 214 ,”Bones” wasn’t 100 percent going into his rematch with DanielCormier .

According to striking coach Mike Winkeljohn, Jones had limitedmovement in one of his arms after injuring it shortly before theJuly 29 bout.

“A couple of nights before the fight, he couldn’t lift his arm. Hehad hurt it wrestling. He wrestled a little too hard with hispartner and maybe from a lack of warm up, I’m not sure, but it waskind scary,” Winkeljohn told Submission Radio .”It was one of those situations where when I was warming him up I’dask the coaches and they had agreed, they were ahead of me on this,that we shouldn’t be doing a lot wrestling because I didn’t wantJon to try and have to underhook and lift with his one arm becauseit could potentially cause it to be hurt again and mess with hismindset. I wanted to keep that out of it and hopefully so that wayif it got re-injured in the fight, the adrenaline would takeover.”

While the Jones camp was able to keep the ailment under wrapsleading into the matchup, there was still that feeling ofuncertainty as Jones stood across from Cormier in the Octagon atthe Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

“So it was kind of scary that nobody knew about it. There was aninjury behind the scenes, but Jon is who he is,” Winkeljohn said.”He’s as tough as they come and like I said, nobody beats Jon Jones buthimself. Once he decides he wants to win a fight, he’s going towin.”

It was difficult to tell if the injury bothered Jones at all duringthe fight. The Jackson-Wink MMA member countered Cormier’s forwardpressure with a volume based offensive attack for the opening twoframes before stunning “DC” with a perfectly placed head kick inthe third round. From there, Jones pursued his opponent, trippedhim to the canvas and finished the fight with punches and elbowsfrom above at the 3:01 mark of round three. Through it all, Jonesnever said a word about his arm.

“He just couldn’t lift it basically over his head and stuff. Ofcourse, it’s definitely concerning,” Winkeljohn said. “You know, inmy mind, I’m thinking, ‘Are you going to be able to underhook withthat arm?’ Or if not, you have to use a lot more frames and moredownward pressure and circle the opposite direction, so game planmight have to be changed a little bit if it doesn’t get healed. “Sothere’s a lot of things that are going through the coaches’ minds.Who knows what was going through Jon’s mind. He basically didn’tsay anything other than he’s fighting.”

As it turned out, wrestling wasn’t much of a factor in the bout, asboth Jones and Cormier failed on three takedown attempts apiece.However, Jones was able to outland his foe by a 95-to-58 count insignificant strikes, so the injury didn’t hinder him at all in thataspect of the fight.

“No matter how much it hurt, Jon didn’t say anything ” he just wentand fought,” Winkeljohn said. “That’s why he is the champion.”

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