Jon Jones open to any new opponent for UFC 197: “Let’s keep this main event together. Send them my way”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Jon Jones (art credit Grant Gould © MMATorch)

Jon Jones isn’t one to stay on cards when his opponent drops out, but the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion said on Saturday that he’s willing to fight in UFC 197’s main event in three weeks if the UFC can find him an opponent.

“Hey, y’all know I’m not into taking last minute fights, it’s not the way me and my trainers do things,” Jones said in a short video posted to Instagram. “But this last year’s been real crazy and I feel like I owe my fans so much, so UFC, whether you’ve got a heavyweight, light heavyweight, it doesn’t matter, let’s keep this main event together. Send them my way.”

Jones was supposed to return in a Light Heavyweight Title fight against Daniel Cormier in the main event of the April 23 card, whom he defeated in his last fight in January 2015. Cormier was forced out of the fight Friday due to a leg injury.

Penick’s Analysis: Slightly unexpected, but good on Jones. There are three weeks to prepare, he feels he’s ready to return, and even though it’s always a risky proposition to take a late notice fight, he’s saving the UFC 197 card by staying on board. That’s good for the fans who have already paid for tickets, and it means the pay-per-view won’t tank with Demetrious Johnson in the main event. Now, just whom they’ll find for him on three weeks notice is anyone’s guess, but there are plenty of possibilities the UFC should now be looking at.

[Jon Jones art by Grant Gould (c)]

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