Jon Jones suffers gruesome broken toe defending light heavyweight title at UFC 159

After months upon months of smack-talk, Chael Sonnen, or Fail Sonnen as some people are calling him, got just what he asked for. The self-appointed “Bad Guy” of the UFC ran into the buzz saw know as Jon Jones. Inside of one round, Jon Jones took down Sonnen, elbowing and punching him into a hapless pile against the octagon‘s wall.  Jones put up, and Chael was shut up, TKO’ed in a brief, but violent bout. As Jonny Bones put it, he “Chael Sonnen’d Chael Sonnen.”

After beating the challenger at his own game, Jones prepared to give the customary in-cage interview with Joe Rogan—and that’s where things got a little hairy.

“Uh-oh, ohh, he’s got a broken foot! Oh man. Wow. Jon Jones has a broken foot, ladies and gentlemen“   – Joe Rogan

What a broken foot indeed. Jon Jones’ big toe didn’t just break, it channeled it’s inner Kevin Ware. Just below the first joint on his left big toe a shiny white nub of bone poked through his skin. Jones’s coach, Greg Jackson, would later confirm via twitter that it was a compound fracture. Strange thing is Jon Jones had no idea that the injury took place until he was about to be interviewed by Joe Rogan.  To his credit, Jones would tough it out and give an interview after taking a seat on a stool. Cringeworthy doesn’t begin to describe what it was like watching that interview…the pain was all over Jon’s face. At a few points he looked like he might’ve fainted, and Jones kept squeezing his championship belt to calm his nerves. The break was so nasty that the UFC edited out all the footage of the broken toe from their post-fight interview videos.  Apparently Jones had a celebratory trip to Jamaica planned after UFC 159, but judging by this injury, vacation will have to wait.

Here’s a pic of Jones’ gruesome, disgusting, NSFW toe

(via @MichaelDavSmith)…

— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) April 28, 2013

There is some controversy as to what would have happened  if Sonnen was able to it out of the first round, and if Jon  had been ruled unable to continue by the referee. reports that such an outcome would have likely resulted in a no contest ruling. However, according to an exchange between Dana White and a reporter at the post-fight presser, Jones would have lost via technical TKO. While it is unlikely that the title would have changed hands after a single round of outright domination, the rules are far form clear in this  situation. In relation to what may have occurred in this fight, the unified MMA rules state:

13: 46-24A.16 Injuries sustained during competition

“(f) If an injury sustained during competition as a result of an accidental  foul is severe enough for the referee to stop the bout immediately, the bout  shall result in a no contest if stopped before two rounds have been completed in  a three round bout or if stopped before three rounds have been completed in a  five round bout.”

13: 46-24A.17 Types of Bout Results

“10. No Contest: When a contest is prematurely stopped due to accidental  injury and a sufficient number of rounds have not been completed to render a  decision via the score cards.”

16. Injuries Sustained by Fair Blows and Fouls

“A. If an injury sustained during competition as a result of a legal maneuver  is severe enough to terminate a bout, the injured contestant loses by technical  knockout.”

At worst the fight would have been the flukiest loss ever, and a rematch would have been scheduled immediately, but the referee astutely decided that Chael had enough, and in the process he saved us, the fans, from three more months of baseless smack-talk from the “Bad Guy”.



About the author: Felipe Diaz


Felipe Diaz is an author for Currently studying film production and marketing at UWM, Felipe is an MMA and NFL fanatic. An old-school butcher by trade, he will regularly wrestle greased giant cephalopods for their sweet, black ink, which he uses to write his musings.

Contact Mr. Diaz @thesportsbiter on Twitter


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  • Zachary Jackson

    Had the fight been stopped because of the broken toe, Sonnen would have been the champ. Rule 13: 46-24A.16 applies to injuries caused by accidental fouls – clash of heads, groin strike, or eye poke for example. This injury was in no way related to a foul so this rule does not apply.

  • Felipe Diaz

    You raise a good point, while that may be the case, the rules are far from clear in this instance. Sources like sherdog are reporting it would have likely been a NC, Dana White mentioned it would have likely been a doctors stoppage, and a potential TKO. If you look at the unified rules you will see

    13: 46-24A.17 Types of Bout Results

    “10. No Contest: When a contest is prematurely stopped due to accidental injury and a sufficient number of rounds have not been completed to render a decision via the score cards.”

    Typically 2 rounds are needed to render a decision, which is why this may apply. As the referee is the sole arbiter of the application of these rules it is tough to say what would have happened, as we saw at UFC 159, stranger things have happened.

    Thanks for your input, I was actually in the process of adding references to a few more potentially applicable rules when I read your post.

  • Zachary Jackson

    Consider Khabilov vs. Meidros from earlier that night. The broken thumb was an accident that took place in the first round that prevented Meideros from being able to continue. Khabilov was given the win. Occasionally boxers can’t continue because they accidentally break their hand or arm throwing punches. Matt Lindland famously knocked himself out with a slam. Rua’s arm broke when Coleman took him down. Cauliflower ears rupture. I saw a toe nail get ripped off and take a big hunk of skin with it. I’ve seen shoulders pop out for no particular reason. Unless it’s caused by a foul, if you can’t continue, you lose. It doesn’t matter what round or what the scorecards say.


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