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UFC 197: Unlike Daniel Cormier, Ovince Saint Preux has the respect of Jon Jones

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier went toe-to-toe on Twitter recently, despite the fact that "Bones" is no longer fighting "DC" at UFC 197 on April 23, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada (because of this).

The reason behind the online beef -- other than the obvious -- came to be after Cormier offered to fly in Ovince Saint Preux to train with him ahead of his interim title fight against Jones, which will serve as the new headlining title fight at UFC 197.

A move Jones dubbed as "cowardly."

But just because he took time out of his day to squabble online with Cormier, doesn't mean his isn't focused on the task at hand against Ovince. In fact, as he recently told MMA Junkie, he is going to give Saint Preux all the respect he deserves come fight night, something Daniel doesn't have.

"I'm going to give him the respect he deserves, which is my full and undivided attention. I know that sounds a little funny after my rant with ‘DC,' but ‘DC,' he doesn't have my respect. So many of my fans tell me, ‘Jon, don't argue with DC, it's just a strategy so you're not focusing on Ovince Saint Preux.' But literally I just deal with ‘DC' on Twitter for a second then my whole day is about Ovince. He has my full and undivided attention."

And it's a good thing, too, as Ovince comes in as a huge underdog for the interim title fight, which means he doesn't have anything to lose, but everything to gain.

That's why "Bones" isn't underestimating his fellow 205-pound comrade.

"Every fighter is a new challenge you've never seen before, for the most part. They zigzag and react a little differently. I knew nothing about him a few days ago, but I've been studying him nonstop. I feel like I know him pretty well now, studying his character, studying his fighting skills. I respect him. He seems like a good person, a hard worker. He's young in the sport, ambitious and is taking the opportunity of a lifetime. I'm sure he's going to give it all he's got. Me being a veteran I know the importance of not underestimating. I'm not going to underestimate him."

As for his unfinished business with Cormier, Jones says if everything turns out in his favor on April 23, he's not opposed to taking on his bitter rival at UF 200 on July 9, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. If not, he wouldn't mind going back home to New York to potentially headline UFC's first-ever event in "The Empire State."

That's a title fight that would go a long way in assuring the company's first venture in New York is "epic and massive."

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