Ovince Saint Preux will face Jon Jones for interim light heavyweight title at UFC 197
Daniel Cormier was forced to pull out of UFC 197 main event through injury10:52 Sunday 3 April 2016, 10:52 3 Apr 2016
UFC 197 will not lose its main event after it was announced that Ovince Saint Preux will face Jon Jones for the interim light heavyweight title.
Defending champion, Daniel Cormier, was forced to pull out due top injury and posted this message to his followers on Instagram:
The decision to not fight on April 23rd was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make. I've been scheduled to fight 18 times and I have made that walk every time. I want to apologize to Jon Jones, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White and all of the UFC fans for not being able to defend my title. This truly saddens me, but as with everything else in life, it goes on. The recovery should not take very long and I can't wait to compete and defend my title again. For all the fans, thanks for your support, I appreciate each and every one of you. DC
A photo posted by Daniel "DC" Cormier (@dc_mma) on
Initially there was talk the bout could be rescheduled to boost an already stacked card at UFC 200, considering that the recovery period is expected to be approximately six weeks, but Dana White instead moved to dispel any rumours last night on Sportscentre and announced that there would be an interim title up for grabs:
"Obviously, the No. 1 choice would be Anthony Johnson, who is the No. 2-ranked guy in the world and a fight that everybody wants to see" he said.
"But Anthony Johnson just had surgery on his mouth and can't even put a mouthpiece in for at least three weeks."
He confirmed that Ovince Saint Preux would take the fight instead on three weeks notice.
"Thing is, Jon has never lost his title in the Octagon. He was stripped of his title because of problems outside. We think it's the right thing to do. It's not his fault that Cormier is injured so. He will fight for the interim light heavyweight title. When Cormier comes back, they'll decide who the real champ is.
"The one thing we've learned in the 16 years in this business is you never know what's going to happen. Anything is possible when two guys get in there. Jon Jones and OSP have never faced off before. No. 1 versus No. 6. Two big, strong, athletic, explosive guys. Anything is possible."
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