A sobering moment occured in Toronto after Jon Jones' successful title defense opposite the massive Swede, Alexander Gustafsson. While the exciting, back-and-forth brawl had fans on the edge of their seat for 30 straight minutes, we got a stark reminder that these warriors are still human, and that this sport is dangerous.
Courtesy of ESPN's Brett Okamoto:
Jones was loaded into a stretcher and is presumably being taken to the hospital. Far worse shape than Alex, who conducted a few interviews.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 22, 2013
Jones was pushed to his physical limit against Gustafsson, who hit him hard and frequently. While he earned the win, Jones' face was badly mangled after the fight, with welts over both eyes, with a cut over one and fattened lips. He also had a bad limp on his way backstage.
Members of the media noted on Twitter that Gustafsson was in relatively fine condition, and gave several interviews after the fight. The Swedish top contender was badly exhausted following the fight, but was otherwise fine.
Jones made it to the locker room on his own, as was shown after the fight, but he was clearly in bad enough condition to need to be taken to the hospital, quickly. Jones was not in attendance for the post-fight press conferences.
While this may be simply precautionary (and more than likely it is), it's difficult to think of a fighter like Jones, who wore a shirt that read "not quite human," as precisely that. While Jones has an otherworldly ability to beat up other human beings, he is still one of us.
Jon Jones (as well as Alexander Gustafsson, who was also hospitalized) has been released from the hospital without serious injury or broken bones.