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Jones makes awaited octagon return against Saint Preux, Johnson faces Cejudo at UFC 197

Lee Gormley | April 22, 2016

Jon Jones v Ovince Saint Preux

  • UFC interim light-heavyweight title fight
  • Sunday, April 24th
  • Scheduled for: 05:00 BST
  • MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
  • Live on BT Sport

Jones seeks successful octagon return

Pound-for-pound king Jon Jones makes his long-awaited return to the octagon this weekend against late stand-in opponent Ovince Saint Preux in UFC 197’s rearranged main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas.

UFC 197 Mixed Martial Arts

‘Bones’ Jones (21-1) has not fought since defeating Daniel Cormier to retain the light-heavyweight title in January last year, having been subsequently stripped of that crown and removed from the official rankings following his arrest on felony hit-and-run charges.

The 28-year-old New Yorker was initially scheduled to face current champion Cormier again for the strap, but his rival withdrew after a knee injury, so he will now face sixth-ranked contender Saint Preux (19-7), with the winner then meeting a title shot later this year.

Jones enters as the overwhelming favourite and is 11/10 with Coral for a knockout victory on his returning bout, while Miami-born challenger Saint Preux, a former American Football linebacker, takes to the octagon at 9/2 to cause a major upset in Sin City.

‘Bones’ making necessary adjustments

Having been preparing for a comeback showdown against long-standing rival Cormier, Jones has had to make swift changes in his training as he now gets ready to contest 33-year-old southpaw Saint Preux, in a match-up that is 6/1 to end within 59 seconds.

UFC 182 Mixed Martial Arts

“Oh, the adjustment’s been fine. You know, it’s a little curveball. I try to look at interesting fighters like this as opportunities to grow. I try to be excited by the challenges,” stated Jones.

“You know, since the fight’s been changed, me and my coaches, we’ve spent even more time together, you know, thinking about what we need to do, what adjustments we need to make. We’re making the appropriate changes. We just have to kind of work overtime to be comfortable with our new strategy.”

“I need to finish this fight…”

Jones has won his last three fights by decision over five rounds but believes only a stoppage will do this time out, against an opponent that is ranked well below him, and the undefeated former world champion is 6/4 for a first-round KO.

UFC 197 Mixed Martial Arts

“Success for me is to go out there and dominate. I’ve always been a guy that has strived for dominating, not only winning. I’ve dominated a majority of my opponents,” continued ‘Bones’.

“Very few people I only win against. Most of the time it’s pretty one-sided. That’s success to me. I need to finish this fight. I need to finish this fight. I need to dominate the fight.”

The returning pound-for-pound kingpin may have to wait a little longer to contest for his former light-heavyweight strap, but he will aim to make a strong statement on his first appearance in over a year as the headline act at UFC 197.

Demetrious Johnson v Henry Cejudo

  • UFC flyweight title fight
  • Sunday, April 24th
  • Scheduled for: 04:00 BST
  • MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
  • Live on BT Sport

Johnson defends flyweight title against Cejudo

The pick of the UFC 197 undercard sees flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson put his title on the line against unbeaten challenger Henry Cejudo, as the reigning title holder looks to continue the organisation’s longest active championship reign.

UFC 197 Mixed Martial Arts

In what is arguably the most anticipated UFC flyweight bout in history, Johnson (23-2-1) is impressively seeking his eighth successful defence of his crown against America’s 2008 Olympic wrestling Gold medallist Cejudo (10-0).

‘Mighty Mouse’ enters as a huge favourite to maintain his reign and is 7/2 to prevail by KO in his latest outing, though astute grappler Cejudo takes to the octagon at 10/3 to spring a surprise after recording a perfect MMA record to date.

‘Mighty Mouse’ backs McGregor

With the recent situation involving featherweight champion Conor McGregor and his reluctance to take part in media duties ahead of UFC 200, which he has since been withdrawn from, Johnson has sided with the Irishman.

“Because at the end of the day, it’s about winning the fight,” stated the flyweight champion, who is 11/4 to triumph by submission.

UFC 178 Mixed Martial Arts

“I mean, how much media is enough for you guys? I did an hour of interviews before I came down here, did interviews yesterday – that’s what Conor is getting at, how many interviews do you need?

“And he’s coming from f****** Iceland. He’s in the middle of camp. And he wants to prepare properly.”

Kentucky-born Johnson will aim to continue his dominance in the flyweight division this weekend, and is evens to earn a decision over dangerous wrestler Cejudo, but he faces potentially a stern test against a fighter that has been relentlessly working his way towards this very title shot.

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Coral’s top tip: Back Jon Jones to stop Ovince Saint Preux in the first round at 6/4.

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