It was the perfect setup: an established UFC star to face an undefeated Olympian and a pre-fight melee to hype up the forthcoming battle.
Then, it all came to a thud when the UFC world was rocked with the announcement that Jon Jones will have to withdraw for the scheduled main event of UFC 178 against Daniel Cormier after suffering a leg injury during training.
Just a week ago, the MMA world was abuzz of the upcoming fight between Jones and Cormier on Sept. 27 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This came after the light heavyweight champion got into a brawl with the contender during a photo shoot in Las Vegas. Cooler heads prevailed and they have appeared to have moved on and focused on the upcoming sanctioned fight.
Jones did that and went back to training but suffered a leg injury that will sideline the defending champion and move the fight to a conservative date of Jan. 3, 2015, tentatively called UFC 182. Cormier, who replaced Alexander Gustaffson will still be able to keep his spot after the said brawl generated much publicity for the fight as revealed by UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.
The said changes in the schedule were announced Tuesday through FOX Sports 1 on the show "America's Pregame."
The same program revealed that it was a combination of an ankle and leg injury with suspected torn meniscus as the main cause of his exclusion from the upcoming fight. Although said injuries are not extremely damaging that it would require major surgery, still, the team of Jones is using precaution in fielding in their ward.
This now leaves UFC 178 very bare and needing some more big names to entice viewers and fans of the sports to still come. Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has already pulled out from his match-up in UFC 177 and he will be slated in the main event slot vacated by Jones and Cormier. Johnson will face Chris Cariaso in a catch weight of 125 pounds.
Due to the said alterations, the UFC has already advised customers who have purchased tickets to the fight that they can avail of a refund up until Aug. 22.