Jon Jones may be back, but he wasn't exactly setting the mixed martial arts (MMA) world on fire during his fight against Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That's according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White's assessment, as he told Fox Sports after the fight that "Bones" should be thanking his lucky stars that he didn't face off against his original foe and current Light Heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier.
"Cormier is dying right now, wishing that it was him in there. Throughout the history of fights, when guys take a lot of time off, you've heard me say it a million times, I am a firm believer in ring rust. Jon Jones looked rusty tonight and it was a really good thing for him that it was 'OSP' tonight, the No. 6 ranked light heavyweight and not Cormier because he was able to get some rounds under his belt and feel himself out. Now he knows what he's got to do when he gets back in the gym. In your mind, you feel the same guy and you feel you are going to jump back in there and do the same stuff. The things with Jon Jones, he's been out and all of the things that he has done, five rounds, he was busy for five rounds. This was good for him."
Indeed, "OSP" -- who took the interim title fight on three weeks notice after "DC" bowed out with an injury -- proved to be game, taking Jones the full 25 minutes despite coming up short on the judges scorecard.
Of course, one may give Jones -- who himself wasn't too pleased with his performance (see it) -- a pass for his not-so dominant outing as it was his first fight in over a year following his suspension for his part in a hit-and-run accident in 2015.
But, now that he got his first bout out of the way, he has hopefully shaken any cobwebs off as he is expected to face of against Cormier in a title unification match later this year, possibly at UFC 200 on July 9, 2016 in "Sin City."
And though he may have not fought Cormier ar UFC 197, Jones made sure to let him know just how much he thinks of him after the fight by flipping him the bird.