Legendary referee John McCarthy spoke about how he once saved Jon Jones from the first real defeat in his career.
“Jon Jones thinks I hate him and has even spoken publicly about not wanting me to handle his fights, but the thing is, I actually like him,” Big John Sportskeeda was quoted as saying. “I’ll tell it like it is – John would have lost his championship if I didn’t participate in his fight against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165. Because any other referee in my place would not risk his career for him.”
“In that fight, John already missed a blow in the first round and received a cut over his right eye. He went through the second, third round, and in the fourth, the cut opened up even more. At the end of the fourth round, the doctor examined the cut and said that the fight should be stopped, and John had just won the round, almost finishing Gustafsson. And he fought like a champion with this cut, demonstrating with his whole appearance that it does not bother him.
“So I told the doctor that I would let them continue the fight and he said he didn’t like it. Then I said, ‘Let the fight go on, but if I see it getting worse, I’ll stop it and invite you again’. If I had listened to him and stopped the fight, Alexander Gustafsson would have been the winner. That’s how much I hate Jon Jones.”
In September 2013 at UFC 165 in Toronto, Alexander Gustafsson gave a tough fight to Jon Jones, and at that time, the reigning UFC light heavyweight champion managed to retain his belt only thanks to the favor of the judges, although many still consider the unanimous decision in favor of the American controversial.
On March 4 at UFC 285 in Las Vegas, Jon Jones will return to the octagon after a three-year hiatus and, in a confrontation with Cyril Gan, will try to win the vacant UFC heavyweight championship belt.