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SportsMixed Martial Arts

Jon Jones hurt, Phil Davis to fight Rashad Evans

Jon Jones, left, hits Mauricio Rua with an

Jon Jones, left, hits Mauricio Rua with an elbow during their mixed martial arts match at UFC 128 in Newark, N.J. Jones won by TKO. (Mar. 19, 2011) Credit: AP

Newly crowned UFC light heavyweight Jon "Bones" Jones will be out of action for a while with a torn ligament in his right hand, and Phil Davis will replace him in a bout against Rashad Evans at UFC 133 in Philadelphia, the UFC confirmed Monday.

Tough news for Jones, who rose to stardom in March with a thorough destruction of then-champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128.

But the irony. Oh, the irony!

After turning down other fights to wait for Rua to be healthy enough to defend his title, Evans injured his knee six weeks before his championship shot. That opened a spot for Jones to get his title shot. Now that Jones was set to defend his title against Evans, his teammate at Jackson's Submission Fighting, it's Jones who is hurt and Evans who won't turn down the replacement bout. Evans hasn't fought since May 29, 2010.

But wait, there's more.

Davis, a rising light heavyweight and undefeated in MMA so far (9-0, 5-0 UFC), has drawn plenty of comparison to Jones. Some of it was warranted -- they're both young, both talented, both have championship wrestling backgrounds. And some of it was unwarranted -- Davis hasn't done the things inside the octagon that Jones has yet.

"Recently everyone is talking about Phil Davis catching up to me and being the one to eventually beat me," Jones told Newsday last month. "And it's funny that people say that because it’s almost like they look at me and press the pause button and let Phil Davis’ skillset catch up to mine, where I'm going to be working my butt off, too. I have a responsibility, especially as the champ to continue being the champ and that alone will keep my head on straight and keep living up to expectations with more victories.”

 

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