Jon Jones returns to his rightful place, bullying light heavyweights around the Octagon 6 years ago

Jon Jones returns to his rightful place, bullying light heavyweights around the Octagon

476 days and just the faintest sprinkling of ring rust.

Almost 16 months since his last fight, Jon Jones claimed the interim light heavyweight title overnight with a dominant victory over Ovince Saint Preux.

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'Bones' had been scheduled to face reigning 205 lb champion Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC 197 before Cormier withdrew from the bout with an injury and OSP stepped in on short notice.

For all of his superiority against Saint Preux, Jones needed the judges' decision and readily admitted in his post-fight interview that he wasn't overly happy with his performance.

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The opening round was something of a feeling out process from Jones, who was stripped of his light heavyweight title almost a year ago to the day for his involvement in a hit-and-run accident.

Jones landed the more significant strikes in the first five minutes, showing off the kicking arsenal that has made him one of the most creative stand-up fighters in the game.

OSP rallied somewhat in the second and landed a solid right hand on 'Bones' but the former champion still took the round with more activity and control on the feet.

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Boos rang around the MGM Grand during the third round due to a lack of action between the fighters but, still, Jones continued to rack up points on the judges' scorecards.

The fourth was likely the most commanding for the returning Jones as he took Saint Preux down at will and made his life hell from top position with short, glancing elbows and heavy, arcing punches from the back. The penultimate round was almost certainly the one adjudged to be 10-8 by one judge and, in all truth, OSP was lucky to see the final five minutes.

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But see them he did and he put up an admirable fight but a slam from Jones looked to have injured the late stand-in whose gas tank was visibly depleted while Jones jogged to the finish line.

The result was an expected one as Jones' hand was raised and a piece of gold was slapped on his shoulder but the 28-year-old was quick to cast the interim strap aside as he explained how he wanted the real belt.

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It wasn't the highlight reel spinning elbow finish that many of us were expecting but Jon Jones is back and he's on a collision course with Daniel Cormier.

And we can't bloody wait.

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