OSP has been tapped to fight Jones on April 23rd, and on short notice, after the champ Cormier was forced to withdraw due to injuries. Prior to “DC’s” withdrawal, his verbal war with Jones was already raging. Then, after Cormier invited OSP to come train with AKA, all expenses paid, things kicked into a new level.
So, is it possible that Jones could be looking past OSP? And to Cormier? After all, Jones is a big time favorite to defeat Saint Preux, and “Bones” has been focused on facing his bitter rival for weeks now.
Well, recently Jones spoke to MMA Junkie.com, and here’s some of what he had to say:
“I’m going to give him the respect he deserves, which is my full and undivided attention,” Jones said. “I know that sounds a little funny after my rant with ‘DC,’ but ‘DC,’ he doesn’t have my respect. So many of my fans tell me, ‘Jon, don’t argue with ‘DC.’ It’s just a strategy so you’re not focusing on Ovince Saint Preux.’ But literally I just deal with ‘DC’ on Twitter for a second then my whole day is about Ovince. He has my full and undivided attention.”
It’s hard to imagine Jones completely losing focus, and taking it easy, just because he’s no longer fighting Cormier. After all, he needs to get past OSP if he wants to face Cormier again and reclaim the belt. Further, Jones has been in full camp mode, expecting to fight “DC”, and by all indications he’s be training hard.
But, who knows right? Maybe the change in opponent will throw him off? OSP has never been described as ‘orthodox’. Or maybe Jones will under estimate what OSP brings to the table. Or maybe not?
UFC 197 will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.