Jon Jones will fight Ovince Saint Preux after Cormier injury

Sunday April 3rd, 2016

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Jon Jones will fight Ovince Saint Preux for the interim light heavyweight title at UFC 197 after defending champion Daniel Cormier pulled out of the match due to a lower leg injury, UFC president Dana White announced on ESPN.

The new match is still scheduled to be the main event of the April 23 pay-per-view at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

According to White, Anthony Johnson, the No. 2 ranked light heavyweight, was initially offered the fight, but was forced to turn it down as he recovers from a recent surgery.

“Obviously, the No. 1 choice would be Anthony Johnson, who is the No. 2-ranked guy in the world and a fight that everybody wants to see,” White said. “But Anthony Johnson just had surgery on his mouth and can't even put a mouthpiece in for at least three weeks.”

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The fight will be Jones’s first since he beat Cormier to defend the title in January 2015. He had the title stripped after being charged with a felony hit-and-run in May.

Saint Preux, a former football player at Tennessee, is 7–2 in the UFC and currently ranked the No. 6 fighter in the division. 

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