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Exclusive - Jon Jones thanks the fans for their support, OSP plans to make the most of his opportunity

Jones will step into the cage after more than a year
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 23 Apr 2016
Exclusive

UFC 197 will see the return of one of the greatest fighters of this generation (and many will feel of all time) Jonathan Jones, or simply Jon “Bones” Jones. JJ went through one of the worst years in 2015, which saw him getting suspended from the UFC, his title stripped and had to sit on the sidelines and watch his greatest foe – Daniel Cormier win the title – a title he never lost.

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier do not like each other; not the kind of “feud” you’d expect in the world of entertainment, but a real life beef which stemmed out of both the fighters believing that the other doesn’t give them the respect they deserve. Jones’ last fight saw him outclass DC, even going as far as to almost taunt DC by beating him at his own game!

So after one exasperating year, Jon was scheduled to face DC in a rematch for the ages at UFC 197 for the UFC Light Heavyweight title – that was until DC pulled out of the fight due to a foot injury. While OSP – one of the most dangerous strikers in the game today stepped up to take the fight on short notice, Jon still has a score to settle with DC.

Jon Jones believes his fans motivate him to overcome any obstacle

“Yes, the fan support means so much to me. I have really, really felt supporters and I definitely haven’t always been an athlete to make it easy to support. I’ve done a lot of things that I’m not proud of”, Jon told me during the recent UFC 197 conference call with the main and co – main eventers.

Jon knows that his road to salvation is a long and tiring one. During the lead up to the fight, DC kept taunting Jon, telling him that his “act” will not work. While Jon Jones has been forgiven by the fans, controversy followed the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, with him being recently pulled over for an offense which was later proved he didn’t commit.

But Jon believes that he can turn things around for the better, and said that the fans have been there for him when he needed them the most.

“But people see through the good of me and they believe in that and they stand by me and I’m just so grateful for all my fans. I love them all so much. They motivate me to be better and to try to improve on my character. I’m just very grateful for everyone, sincerely.”

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Ovince Saint Preux intends to make the most of his opportunity

OSP will be a handful for Jones, at least from a physical aspect

Jon’s 197 opponent and the 6th ranked LHW in the world, OSP believes this is one fight that can give him the opportunity to prove himself.

“The opportunity, that’s the thing about it, opportunity. Anything can happen in any given opportunity. So I had opportunities. If I was offered an opportunity, I would take it. That’s the thing I’m going to do and make the best out of the opportunity.”

However, OSP is quick to brush off any comparisons with Nate Diaz, who previously took a short notice fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 196, and went on to hand the Irishman his first defeat in the UFC.

“I’m not worried about what anybody else did in the past. I know what Diaz did to Conor. Okay, but Conor went up two weight classes.”

“So at the end of the day, just like I’ve been given the opportunity and I’m going to make the best of the situation.”

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Mighty Mouse talks about his future

One step closer to the title defense record

At UFC 197, two titles will be on the line – other than the Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, the Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson will put his title on the line against the number 2 ranked contender and former Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo.

Many people believe that Cejudo, with his relatively short stint in the sport will be an easy fight for DJ, but the champ isn’t taking Cejudo lightly. With DJ almost cleaning up the division, Mighty Mouse talked about what is next for him.

“Like I always do, it’ll be about consecutive title defenses. Going home, get back in the gym and keep on getting better and take care of the family,” DJ added.

“You know I’m never attached to the outcome of my fights, whether I win or lose. I just keep on chugging away.

So we’ll see what UFC has in line for me next and then go from there.”

Published 23 Apr 2016, 15:02 IST
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