Monster Energy’s Jon Jones made his long-awaited return to the Octagon walking out to “Coming Home” on Saturday, April 23 and then definitively beat Ovince Saint Preux ‘OSP’ in a unanimous decision to win the interim 205-pound light heavyweight title at UFC 197 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Initially regarded as Jones’ comeback fight to regain his title in a rematch against Daniel Cormier, the champ withdrew from the scheduled 205-pound title defense because of a leg injury. Jones then had to settle for an interim title fight against No.6 ranked Saint Preux who agreed to fill-in on only three weeks’ notice.
Although Jones, 28, was crowned the interim champion, earning his 13th consecutive win, he was clearly not interested in the “interim” title. When the UFC belt was presented to him after his victory, he declined, saying, “It’s not the right belt.”
The first three rounds were fought in a stand-up battle with Jones looking more fit than ever while stalking Saint Preux and delivering crisp kicks to OSP’s knees, thighs and body. During the fourth and fifth rounds Jones dominated and took Saint Preux down hard, delivering his trademark ground and pound with sharp elbows and head strikes. While offering his most effective offense of the night, Jones was not able to keep OSP down or get a knockout despite a strategic mount and hard elbows, with Saint Preux ultimately being saved by the bell.
In the end, even though Jones himself was somewhat critical of, and disappointed with his performance, all three judges scored it a shutout: 50-44, 50-45, 50-45.
Next up Jones will get that rematch with Cormier (17-1).
“I'm really excited to fight Cormier,” Jones said. “I would like to fight at UFC 200.”
As announced Wednesday, Jones will get his wish, battling Cormier at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas.
Jones is regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts history, collecting 21 pro wins in 22 fights. New to the Monster Energy team, Jones joins elite MMA athletes including: Dominick “Dominator” Cruz, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Conor McGregor, Chris “All-American” Weidman, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, Rory MacDonald, Cain Velasquez, and Daniel Cormier.
For more on Monster Energy’s MMA team visit
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