Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Las Vegas, Nevada, tonight (Sat., April 23, 2016) as the MGM Grand Garden Arena will play host to the highly anticipated UFC 197 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which features the return of Jon Jones as well as a scintillating Flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo.
Catch all the action LIVE with a PPV main card start time of 10 p.m. ET (for up-to-date UFC 197 results click here).
Below is everything you need to know to stay on top of PPV in "Sin City."
Who: Jon Jones vs. Ovince St. Preux; Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo
What: UFC 197
When: Sat., April 23, 2016, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
How To Watch: Main card at 10 p.m ET on PPV; FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" under card at 8 p.m. ET; and UFC Fight Pass early "Prelims" at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Live UFC 197 results: Play-by-play coverage stream right here
Even without Jones rematching current Light Heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier -- due to an unfortunate injury -- the former 205-pound king earned main event status to battle Ovince St. Preux on short notice for the interim title.
Jones has been embroiled in controversy over the last two years, starting with his infamous brawl with Cormier at UFC 178 media day, then an out-of-competition positive test for cocaine following UFC 182, his hit-and-run accident that caused UFC to strip him of his title, violating probation, and his most recent run-in with law enforcement after allegedly drag racing in late March.
Even with all of his past transgressions, Jones will finally return to the Octagon tonight, with the opportunity to reclaim his former glory.
Whether or not you are a fan of Jon Jones the man, you simply can not deny the greatness of Jon Jones the fighter.
Sit back, and enjoy what should be a historic and sensational comeback.
What's Hot: Let's switch gears and discuss the UFC 197 co-main event, featuring Demetrious Johnson defending his Flyweight title against former Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo.
If Jon Jones is considered the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, "Mighty Mouse" has to be 1a.
Johnson's dominance in the stacked Flyweight division is nothing short of spectacular, as the champ has held the belt since the inception of the division back in 2012.
Johnson has defended his title seven straight times, has defeated both Joseph Benavidez and John Dodson twice, has victories via knockout and submission, and has thoroughly dominated each opponent he has faced in the last three years.
Many consider Johnson to already be the best fighter in the world, and a victory over a talented Olympian may very well solidify that claim.
Cejudo is no pushover, as he has developed an impressive striking game to compliment his unstoppable wrestling acumen. A ton of fans are overlooking Cejudo heading into UFC 197, and he has a great opportunity to shock the MMA masses in similar vein to Holly Holm's knockout win over Ronda Rousey.
Hopefully this Flyweight contest lives up to its billing, and fight fans are treated to an instant classic.
What's Not: UFC 197 is a truly fantastic PPV event, but let's not pretend that Daniel Cormier's untimely injury didn't at least spoil some of the fun.
Look, Jon Jones' return to the Octagon is fantastic regardless of his opponent, but the intrigue for the Cormier rematch grossly outweighs the intrigue for a short-notice fight against Ovince St. Preux.
On the bright side, fight fans should witness a classic Jones beatdown, with the possibility of the former Light Heavyweight champ returning to fight Cormier in the main event of UFC 200 in July.
Original Card vs Actual Card:
The injury bug affects nearly every UFC event, and UFC 197 was no different.
The most dramatic change was of course Daniel Cormier's injury that forced him out of his scheduled main event title fight against Jon Jones, but there were a handful of other changes as well.
Former WSOF champ Jessica Aguilar was set to return tonight to fight Juliana Lima, but an injury gave former UFC champ Carla Esparza the opportunity to take the fight on short notice.
There were rumors earlier in the year that BJ Penn would return to the cage at UFC 197, but after an investigation was launched into criminal allegations, the return of the former Lightweight kingpin was pushed back to UFC 199.
Cody East (vs. Walt Harris): The latest competitor to earn a UFC contract from Dana White's Looking For A Fight series is Cody East. "The Freight Train" makes his UFC debut at 27-years old with an impressive 12-1 record with 11 finishes. East is a Legacy FC veteran, but has yet to fight a UFC caliber opponent.
How The "Prelims" Look: Outstanding.
Personally, I love the UFC 197 "Prelims."
The card is littered with talented prospects, a former UFC champ, and features a great FOX Sports 1 main event between Sergio Pettis and Chris Kelades.
Don't miss Kevin Lee, Cody East, Marcos Rogerio De Lima, James Vick, Carla Esparza, Danny Roberts, Dominique Steele, and Sergio Pettis.
In other words: watch the entire UFC 197 event from top to bottom.
Who Needs A Win Badly: This portion is reserved for fighters who could be fighting for their jobs today, rather than contenders or title challengers needing victory. Let's take a look at those who need to pull it together:
Clint Hester (vs. Marcos Rogerio De Lima): Clint Hester is an exciting fighter, but after two straight knockout losses, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran will undoubtedly be fighting for his UFC roster spot tonight at UFC 197.
Interest Level 8/10
In my opinion, the two best fighters on the planet will compete at UFC 197, so what else could a fight fan ask for?
Prior to the headliners, former UFC Lightweight champ Anthony Pettis battles Edson Barboza in what could be the "Fight of the Night," and the PPV opener between Yair Rodriguez and Andre Fili simply can not be missed.
Overall, this is a truly outstanding card that fight fans should have no issue shelling out money for.
Enjoy the show!
Check out the full UFC 197 fight card right here:
UFC 197 PPV Main Event:
205 lbs.: Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux for UFC Light Heavyweight Interim Championship (Daniel Cormier injured)
UFC 197 PPV Co-Main Event:
125 lbs.: UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo
UFC 197 PPV Main Card (10 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Pettis
185 lbs.: Rafael Natal vs. Robert Whittaker
145 lbs.: Andre Fili vs. Yair Rodriguez
UFC 197 FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" (8 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Chris Kelades vs. Sergio Pettis
170 lbs.: Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele
115 lbs.: Juliana Lima vs. Carla Esparza
155 lbs.: Glaico Franca vs. James Vick
UFC 197 Fight Pass "Prelims" (6:30 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Cody East vs. Walt Harris
185 lbs.: Clint Hester vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
155 lbs.: Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 197 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.
For more information on UFC 197, including the full fight card, results, news, and more, click here.