What you didn't see in Jones vs OSP at UFC 197

Ovince Saint Preux (left) punches Jon Jones in their interim UFC light heavyweight championship bout during UFC 197. Photo / Getty Images
Ovince Saint Preux (left) punches Jon Jones in their interim UFC light heavyweight championship bout during UFC 197. Photo / Getty Images

OVINCE Saint Preux survived five rounds with arguably the top pound-for-pound fighter in all of mixed martial arts, but he didn't leave UFC 197 unscathed.

Saint Preux battled Jon Jones for 25 minutes and while he lost a lopsided decision, the Tennessee native still put up a fight after accepting the bout on only three weeks notice.

Saint Preux made it to the final bell, but according to his coach Joey Zonar he fought the last three rounds against Jones with a broken arm.

Saint Preux wasn't at the UFC 197 post fight press conference as he received medical attention for his arm. Zonar told MMAFighting.com he was unsure if he will need surgery.

Jones said after the fight was over his shin and foot were both swollen from all the shots he threw at Saint Preux.

From the sound of the injury, Saint Preux likely suffered the broken arm while defending Jones' numerous kicking attacks that took place through the first two rounds.

"Right away my shins were swollen, my left shin was swollen, my left foot was swollen, and when my adrenaline came down, I felt some serious pain," Jones said after the fight

There was no further update on Saint Preux's condition immediately after the fight but it looks like he'll be sidelined for a little while after he gets patched up in Las Vegas.

Jones wasn't happy with his performance at UFC 197, but he still got the job done as he returned to the Octagon after a long absence to shut down Saint Preux while winning the interim light heavyweight title.

When it was over, Jones actually refused the interim title and instead said that he was waiting until he could put the real belt around his waist after facing Daniel Cormier later this year.

"I don't think I want that belt; it's not the real belt," Jones said. "I want my actual belt back."

It was a long road for Jones to get back to the UFC after he was suspended and stripped of his belt following an arrest for a hit-and-run accident in April 2015.

Jones went clean and sober for the past seven months as he regained his focus in an effort to reclaim the title he never lost in the cage, but an injury to current champion Cormier forced a change to the UFC 197 main event three weeks ago.

That opponent switch may have benefited Jones, who didn't look his best on Saturday night but still got the job done.

After 16 months away, Jones was definitely rusty as he started the fight with Saint Preux, who accepted the matchup on just three weeks' notice after Cormier suffered a leg injury.

During his time away, Jones has worked tirelessly on his kickboxing and other new techniques, but he fell back into old routines early while chopping away at Saint Preux with his oblique kick that landed repeatedly.

It was clear as the final seconds ticked away who won the fight, but Jones looked utterly frustrated as he just couldn't find a good enough opening to put Saint Preux away.

The judges returned equally lopsided scores with Jones winning 50-44, 50-45 and 50-45.

Jones acknowledged that facing Saint Preux may have been the best medicine for him after such a long lay-off, but he promised to return even better when he comes back for his next fight against Cormier.

"I needed that fight before fighting for a title," Jones said. "My next one's going to be a hell of a lot better, I guarantee it.

"I'm really excited to fight Daniel Cormier. I'll be right back at practice probably Tuesday or Wednesday, getting back to my original strategy."

- news.com.au

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