Jon Jones tried to play it safe against Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 but if he isn't cleared by doctors, the interim light heavyweight champion could still end up being sidelined for up to six months following their five-round fight last Saturday.
Jones was handed a six-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission that can only be lifted if x-rays on his left foot come back negative or get clearance from an orthopedic doctor. Without that clearance, Jones would be forced to the sidelines until Oct. 21, which would put him out of the running for UFC 200 and UFC 205 in New York.
The news comes after UFC president Dana White touted Jones v Daniel Cormier II as a potential main event for UFC 200 after Conor McGregor's sensational axing from the card. That light-heavyweight title rematch is now in jeopardy, which will surely bring further pressure to bear for McGregor's reinstatement to the main event for his rematch against Nate Diaz.
Jones v Cormier II was seen as the last bout that could come close to matching the fan appeal of McGregor - perhaps barring a comeback by legend Georges St-Pierre. Even with Jones v Cormier II on the card, it has been estimated that the UFC could drop $45 million in revenue by persisting with its freeze-out of McGregor.
Jones was seen in a wheelchair backstage after his fight with OSP, but told reporters afterwards that it was just normal fight wear-and-tear and let fans know today on Twitter that he's already recovering:
Saint Preux didn't leave unscathed either, however. White told reporters in the post-fight press conference that Saint Preux broke his left arm during the fight, and NSAC has ruled that unless he's cleared by doctors, the light heavyweight also can't return until late October. Furthermore, it was mandated the Saint Preux sit out at least until June 8 and have no contact until May 24.
Here are the rest of the medical suspensions stemming from the UFC 197 main card.
Henry Cejudo - Suspended until June 8; no contact until May 24
Anthony Pettis - Suspended until May 24; no contact until May 15
Rafael Natal - Must have broken nose cleared by doctor or no contest until Oct 21; minimum suspension until June 8, no contact until May 24
Robert Whittaker - Must have right hand x-rayed, if positive, must get cleared by orthopedic doctor or no contest until Nov 21; minimum suspension until May 24, no contact until May 15
Andre Fili - Must have left inferior orbital wall fracture cleared or no contest until Oct 21; minimum suspension until June 8, no contact until May 24.