Two of the most decorated Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters will be in action in UFC 197 this Saturday. While 'Mighty Mouse' Demetrious Johnson goes into his eighth title defence in the UFC, the occasion also marks the return of one of the most fiercest fighters ever in the history of the sport -- Jon Jones.
Jones, who had a forgettable 2015, gets back into the octagon after more than a year. He was originally scheduled to take on current UFC Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in the main event, but a knee injury forced the 37-year-old to pull out of the match.
He will now take on the #9 ranked UFC light heavyweight fighter, Ovince Saint Preux, for the interim light heavyweight title in the main event of the PPV. Johnson, regarded as one of the quickest MMA fighters of all time, meanwhile, takes on the undefeated Henry Cejudo for the UFC Flyweight title in the co-main event.
Giving his views on the slight modifications to his fight, Jones stated that making adjustments to his game plan, taking into account the new opponent, isn't really that challenging for him.
"Oh, the adjustment's been fine," said Jones in an interview to Sports Illustrated. "You know, it's a little curveball. I try to look at interesting fighters like this as opportunities to grow. I try to be excited by the challenges. You know, since the fight's been changed, me and my coaches, we've spent even more time together, you know, thinking about what we need to do, what adjustments we need to make.
"We're making the appropriate changes. We just have to kind of work overtime to be comfortable with our new strategy," the former champion added.
For Johnson, who has dominated the UFC Flyweight division, ever since the weight category was introduced in the MMA promotion, mentioned that his opponent, Cejudo, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, is just another fighter.
"For me, [Cejudo] is just another opponent that has great accolades, and a great resume," 'Mighty Mouse' told ESPN.
UFC 197: Jones vs Saint Preux schedule:
Date: April 23, 2016.
Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas.
TIme: 10 p.m. EST / 7 pm PST (7:30 a.m. IST, 2 a.m. GMT)
TV listings: Sony ESPN, Sony ESPN HD (India), PayPerView (US, Canada), BT Sport 2 (UK), Combate (Brazil), Main Event (Australia).
Jon Jones vs Ovince Saint Preux - interim light heavyweight title
Demetrious Johnson vs Henry Cejudo - flyweight title
Anthony Pettis vs Edson Barboza - lightweight
Robert Whittaker vs Rafael Natal - middleweight
Yair Rodriguez vs Andre Fili - featherweight