Jon Jones will face Ovince St. Preux in the main event of UFC 197 at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Earlier this evening, Jones posted a video to social media in which he informed the UFC and it’s fans that he intended to remain on the April 23rd card despite the withdrawal of his originally scheduled opponent, light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
The former 205lb king stated that he was willing to take on anyone that the promotion could rustle up on short-notice in order to keep his long-awaited octagon return on schedule, even if it meant going up a division to heavyweight.
“UFC whether you got a heavyweight, light-heavyweight it doesn’t matter, let’s keep this main event going,” said Jones in the short clip.
However, Jones will not have to make that jump and will instead remain in the division that he has called home for his entire UFC career as he is set to take on the dangerous ‘OSP’ in a bout for an interim light-heavyweight belt.
The fight was announced on ESPN(via MMAFighting) by UFC president Dana White.
According to respected journalist Ariel Helwani, the 32-year-old St. Preux was chosen ahead of former champ Rashad Evans, who is scheduled to take on Glover Texeira in two weeks time. Anthony Johnson, who was originally thought to be a front-runner, was unable to compete due to a recent dental procedure.
In the end it came down to OSP and Evans. Rumble had a dental procedure last week that precludes him from fighting so soon, per his mgmt.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 2, 2016
St. Preux last saw action in February when he defeated Brazil’s Rafael Calvacante via unanimous decision at the MGM to secure his 3rd win in 4. His lone loss during that stint came against the aforementioned Texeira.