Former UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones (pictured) ended his 15-month hiatus Saturday at UFC 197 against last-minute replacement Ovince St. Preux.
Although a win is a win, let’s just say Jones looked every bit of a fighter who hadn’t stepped in the cage in over a year.
Jones said he would tinker with a southpaw stance against St. Preux, which he did, but nothing significant came from it. Jones primarily used his long legs to punish the former football player.
It wasn’t until the fourth round that Jones landed some takedowns. It appeared as though Jones was finally ready to finish off the longshot underdog, but St. Preux was saved by the bell when the fourth round horn blared.
Jones pretty much cruised to the finish line from there, posting a lopsided (50-44, 50-45, 50-45) unanimous decision win.
Oh yeah, the bout was for the vacant interim light heavyweight title, which Jones couldn’t have cared less about. Jones is strictly focused on reclaiming the true throne that bitter rival Daniel Cormier captured after Jones was stripped of his belt following last April’s felony hit-and-run arrest.
Cormier, who was doing color commentary for the bout cageside, made eye contact with Jones as he left the cage. Jones flipped him the bird.
The archenemies are hoping to rematch at UFC 200 on July 9 to unify the crown.
UFC 197 took place inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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