Jon Jones’s camp is echoing the sentiments of the light heavyweight champion when they insist the controversial 4th round knee that resulted in a two-point deduction for Jon Jones at UFC 235 was a case of mistiming. In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Jon Jones’s coach Brandon Gibson expressed disappointment in a knee that, under slightly different circumstances, could have decided the outcome of the fight:
“We wanted the finish,” Gibson said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I thought Jon would put him away, I was thinking by the third round. The fourth round we really saw Jon turn it up and I feel bad about the knee. A split-second later or one state line over, that probably would have been a fight ender.”
It also could have been a fight-ender in Nevada in what would have been a very somber ending for Jon Jones. Had Anthony Smith stated he could not continue after the foul, he could have been rewarded the light heavyweight championship via disqualification. Instead, Smith soldiered on and lost via unanimous decision.
“I feel bad about it. I’m really, really happy that Anthony was able to get up and continue from that,” Gibson continued. “I think it shows why he has that ‘Lionheart’ moniker.”
While a foul worthy of a two-point deduction always looks bad, Gibson, like Jon Jones, attributes the foul itself to a case of miscalculation:
“I think Jon was just waiting for that millisecond, Anthony’s trying to play that up-and-down game right there, and Jon knew there was short time left in the round and I think he was just trying to time it for the second that Anthony lifted up that hand. And there’s some pictures where it looks really damn close. It was more of a timing thing than a state and commission thing.”
Do you agree with Brandon Gibson? Was the illegal knee by Jon Jones at UFC 235 a case of a timing issue?