White: Ligament damage slowing timeline of Jon Jones' return; MRI should offer more clarity

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS -- UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is still on the mend after an injury in the final seconds of his recent title defense against Chael Sonnen. While his left big toe was originally believed to be broken, it was later diagnosed as a dislocation. And while Jones hopes to return to the cage soon, there is not yet a timetable to his return, according to UFC president Dana White, who spoke to the champ on Wednesday.

White offered up some previously unrevealed information on the injury on Thursday, when he told the media following a UFC 160 press conference that Jones had also suffered ligament damage in addition to the gruesome dislocation.

"He says he feels great, the toe's healing good, but the problem is that ligament," he said. "That ligament popped. Anytime you tear a ligament, blood flow helps repair the thing and heal, and you don't get a lot of blood flow to the toe. Who knows? This thing could be six weeks, it could be six months. It's a pain in the ass, man. Always some little, crazy thing."

Jones, who is currently in Russia for a personal appearance, recently had the stitches taken out of his toe. White said that he plans to get an MRI on his toe when he returns. That could offer the fighter and the promotion more clarity on when he'll be able to return. Jones has repeatedly said in interviews that he hopes to fight Alexander Gustafsson in his next time out.

Jones' successful defense over Sonnen in April marked his fifth overall, tying him with Tito Ortiz for most in the division's history. He has said that he intends to break that record and then consider a possible move to heavyweight.

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