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UFC 197 fight card primer: Jon Jones vs Ovince St. Preux

Bloody Elbow presents a preview of UFC 197: Jones vs. Saint Preux in our fight card primer series. Here we look at the main event: Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux for the interim UFC Light Heavyweight title.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In the main event at UFC 197: Jones vs. Saint Preux, an interim UFC Light Heavyweight champion will be crowned as Jon Jones (21-1 MMA; 15-1 UFC) takes on Ovince Saint Preux (19-7 MMA; 7-2 UFC). This five round fight caps off the five fight UFC 197 PPV main card. The UFC rankings have Jones as not only the #1 contender at 205, but also the world's #1 pound for pound fighter. Saint Preux is #6 in the division. UFC 197: Jones vs. Saint Preux airs live from Las Vegas this Saturday, April 23. The main card airs on PPV with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at  8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 and 6:30 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

The big story here surrounds not Jon Jones and OSP, but Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. This was supposed to be the big return for Jones going against his arch-rival and the man who claimed Jones's vacated Light Heavyweight title. However, an injury to Cormier changed those plans, and now, OSP comes in, either to shock the world, or be a pawn in the larger game of Jones vs Cormier.

How do these two stack up?

Jones: 28 years old | 6'4" | 84.5" reach
Saint Preux: 33 years old | 6'3" | 80" reach

What have these two done recently?

Jones: W - Daniel Cormier (UD) | W - Glover Teixeira (UD) | W - Alexander Gustafsson (UD)
Saint Preux: W - Rafael Cavalcante (UD) | L - Glover Teixeira (Sub) | W - Patrick Cummins (KO)

How did these two get here?

Jon "Bones" Jones is the former UFC Light Heavyweight champion who never lost his belt in the ring. After completely dominating every opponent and essentially cleaning out the division, Jones was the undisputed #1 pound for pound fighter in the world. But between a failed drug test for cocaine and a hit and run incident, he was suspended by the UFC and stripped of his title last year. This marks his first fight back after a near 16 month layoff - by far the longest of his career. It's hard to know exactly what to expect from him here, but everyone is eager to find out.

Ovince St. Preux is a dynamic and exciting fighter with some great career highlights including a 34 second steamrolling of Shogun Rua. He first drew attention with a 5-1 run in Strikeforce, then won his first 4 UFC fights. Losses in the UFC have only come against top contenders in Ryan Bader and Glover Texieira. He feels like the rookie here, but interestingly, he made his pro debut only 5 months after Jones and is 5 years older than the former champ. Saint Preux is a very talented fighter with a bright future - but he's never beaten a fighter close to Jones's level.

Why should you care?

It's the return of arguably the greatest fighter in the history of our sport. Love him or hate him, you need to tune in to see what happens.