Jon Jones returned to the cage for the first time in over a year tonight at UFC 197, and although the former light-heavyweight champ appeared a little rusty, he emerged with the expected win.
Jones battled Ovince Saint Preux in the card’s headliner, who agreed to face “Bones” on short notice, after Daniel Cormier recently went down with an injury. Throughout the bout, Jones was the busier of the two fighters, as he repeatedly punished OSP with oblique kicks. Later on in the fight, Jones also landed a couple of takedowns, and worked his way to a unanimous decision win.
During the broadcast it was confirmed that the new interim light-heavyweight champ will face the champ Cormier at UFC 200, on July 9th.
In the co-main event, Demterious Johnson demonstrated once again why he, rather than Jones, may be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. Johnson took on former Olympic Gold Medalist wrestler Henry Cejudo, and the latter did manage to score a takedown not long into the bout. Johnson worked back to his feet, however, and proceeded to punish Cejudo with strikes from the clinch. After Johnson blasted Cejudo to the body with a knee, he finished the deal with a follow up combo.
With the victory, Johnson has defended the 125 title an incredible eight times.
The main card also featured a showdown between vaunted strikers Anthony Barboza and Anthony Pettis. Barboza managed to outscore Pettis throughout the bout, particularly with inside leg kicks and a hard left hook, and earned the UD win.
Here are the results for UFC 197, which was hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Jon Jones def. Ovince Saint Preux via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-45, 50-45)
Demetrious Johnson def. Henry Cejudo via TKO (strikes) R1, 2:49
Edson Barboza def. via unanimous decision Anthony Pettis (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Robert Whittaker def. Rafael Natal via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Yair Rodriguez def. Andre Fili via KO (flying roundhouse kick) R2, 2:15
Sergio Pettis def. Chris Kelades via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Danny Roberts def. Dominique Steele via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Carla Esparza def. Juliana Lima via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
James Vick def. Glaico Franca via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Walt Harris def. Cody East via TKO (punches) R1, 4:18
Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Clint Hester via submission (arm-triangle-choke) R1, 4:35
Kevin Lee def. Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)