After over a year away from the octagon Jon Jones’ long awaited return is now only a few days away as the former Light Heavyweight champion is set to face contender Ovince Saint Preux (19-7-0) at UFC 197.
Having been stripped of his title and suspended from the promotion for a hit-and-run incident, Jones (21-1-0) is now looking to redeem his reputation and pick his up career where he left off as he and OSP are set to bout for the interim title.
— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) April 19, 2016
Originally headlined to fight bitter rival Daniel Cormier for the legitimate belt, DC was forced to withdraw from the fight due to an injury. The bad blood between the two has been constantly escalating over the last year and a bit and when asked for his thoughts on the injury, ‘Bones’ Jones was in no way sentimental or sympathetic for Cormier. Speaking to ESPN Jones had the following to say:
“You know, it’s hard to say. I wasn’t there in the workout room with him when he got injured I’ll say. But, there’s been lots of rumors that he was hurt, not injured. And to drop the fight being ‘hurt,’ it just makes no sense. My body, I have aches and little nooks and crannies all over my body, but it’s the cost of being an elite level athlete. You fight through that stuff.”
Following a unanimous decision over Rafael Cavalcante in February, OSP will be confident coming into this fight having won five out of his last seven fights. With only three weeks to train, stepping up last minute is nothing new for the Knoxville fighter who made a habit of taking fights without a full camp during his Strikeforce days once fighting three times in under two months.
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) April 16, 2016
With a considerable wingspan of 80″ OSP may look to Alexander Gustaffson’s performance against Jones, which was the furthest Jones has been tested within the octagon, as a blueprint for how he may approach Saturday night’s fight.
Having brunted the full weight of Dana White’s authority when Jones refused to defend his light heavyweight belt against Chael Sonnen on short notice at UFC 151, which led to the UFC ultimately cancelling the event, and in a scathing subsequent media call, UFC president Dana White proclaimed UFC 151 to be “the event Jon Jones and Greg Jackson murdered”; Jones interestingly during the week had the following to say regarding the Conor McGregor ‘Retirement Gate’ debacle. Quotes via mmafighting:
“Hats off to him for standing up for what he believes is right,”
Jones said a day after the UFC pulled McGregor from UFC 200’s main event opposite Nate Diaz.
“At the end of the day, business is business, and the guy obviously has respect for himself and his talents. Fights like this will help fighters in the future. So, I respect his balls. … I respect his willingness to fight for what is right.”
Jones has stated that he would be extremely keen to replace Conor McGregor at UFC 200, but must first overcome the challenge of Ovince Saint Preux at the MGM Grand this weekend. See below the first two episodes of UFC Embedded: