UFC 197: "Jones vs St. Preux" Live Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada tonight for UFC 197: “Jones vs St. Preux.” The event was headlined by a UFC Interim Light Heavyweight Championship bout between former champion Jon “Bones” Jones and Ovince “OSP” St. Preux.

In tonight’s co-main event, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson put his title on the line against unbeaten challenger Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo. Anthony “Showtime” Pettis battled Edson Barboza at lightweight. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for tonight’s card.


UFC Interim Light Heavyweight Championship

Jon “Bones” Jones vs Ovince “OSP” St. Preux

Round 1:
Jones landed a spinning back kick to the body in the opening seconds and he followed with another body kick soon after. A side kick to the ribs backed St. Preux up and he came up short with lead left hooks. Jones closed in and St. Preux landed an uppercut and a liver kick. Jones backed him up with another hard kick to the chest and he landed another spinning back kick. St. Preux defended against a takedown but ate a knee in the process. 10-9 Jones.

Round 2:
Jones caught a body kick in round two, but St. Preux hopped on one foot and landed a series of left hooks. Jones released his grip and landed a hard body kick. He clinched in search of a trip takedown, but St. Preux countered with a knee. Jones targeted the body with kicks and knees and followed with elbows over the top. St. Preux backed him up with an overhand right, but Jones recovered quickly. Both men landed side kicks to the legs and Jones scored with a spinning back kick to the body. A left hook and two overhand rights landed for St. Preux late in the round. 10-9 Jones.

Round 3:
St. Preux jabbed and landed hooks in round three, but Jones countered with a spinning back elbow and a left cross. He threw kicks to St. Preux’s lead leg and body. The crowd grew restless and Jones picked up the pace with more kicks. St. Preux narrowly blocked a head kick in time and he landed punches to Jones’s face and liver. Jones responded with five quick kicks and St. Preux landed a one-two. One more hard body kick scored for Jones before the end of the round. 10-9 Jones.

Round 4:
The fighters traded leg kicks in round four and St. Preux landed an overhand right. Jones picked him up and slammed him down, but St. Preux immediately scrambled back up. Two standing elbows landed for Jones and he took St. Preux down into side control. Jones landed short elbows from the top and looked to isolate St. Preux’s right arm. St. Preux kicked off of the cage, but Jones mounted him in a scramble. St. Preux gave up his back and Jones landed punches. He kicked St. Preux in the chest shortly before the bell. 10-9 Jones.

Round 5:
The final round began with an exchange of kicks and St. Preux’s offence slowed down. He threw occasional right hands and used body kicks to halt Jones’s forward momentum. Jones eventually closed the distance and clinched with St. Preux against the cage. He slammed St. Preux to the ground and St. Preux appeared to injure his left arm or side. He managed to get back to his feet and Jones clinched again. St. Preux landed a knee to the body and an overhand right. The fighters separated and little transpired in the final 30 seconds. 10-9 Jones.

Winner: Jon Jones by Unanimous Decision (50-44, 50-45, 50-45) after five rounds. He improves to 22-1-0 and becomes the UFC Interim Light Heavyweight Champion.


UFC Flyweight Championship

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo

Round 1:
Johnson opened the action with a left-right combo and Cejudo clinched after landing a leg kick. Johnson broke free with a right hand and the fighters traded knees to the body. Cejudo took Johnson down, but Johnson kicked him off and returned to his feet. He landed three hard knees and thwarted Cejudo’s takedown attempts. More knees and a standing elbow scored for Johnson. He badly hurt Cejudo with another knee and Cejudo wobbled backwards. Johnson rushed in and attacked with punches and a knee to the body until Cejudo collapsed to the mat.

Winner: Demetrious Johnson by TKO (Knee To The Body & Punches) at 2:49 of round one. He improves to 24-2-1 and remains the UFC Flyweight Champion.


Edson Barboza vs Anthony “Showtime” Pettis

Round 1:
Barboza threw kicks from a distance in the opening minute and Pettis lunged in with an uppercut. He followed with a right hand over the top and Barboza responded with a lead left hook. Another left hand landed for Barboza and it opened a cut beside Pettis’s right eye. Barboza scored with more quick punches and he followed with a spinning back kick to the body. Barboza fought off a takedown attempt and he blocked a spinning hook kick. Pettis threw a jumping wheel kick before the end of the round. 10-9 Barboza.

Round 2:
Barboza kept Pettis off-balance with leg kicks and jabs in the second round, and he cracked him with a counter left hook. Pettis jumped in with a knee and Barboza continued to throw jabs. He connected with a left hook to the liver and a kick to the chest. Pettis responded with a right hand and a liver kick. Barboza backed him up with a big left hook. Pettis tried unsuccessfully for a takedown and Barboza punished him with another body kick. 10-9 Barboza.

Round 3:
The final round began with an exchange of leg kicks and Barboza backed Pettis up with a body kick. He jabbed and countered Pettis’s kicks with short hooks. Time was briefly called after Pettis was kicked in the groin, but action resumed and Barboza landed two hard kicks to the lead leg and body. Pettis’s left leg swelled up and Barboza continued to pick him apart with kicks and lead left hooks. He threw a spinning wheel kick before the final bell. 10-9 Barboza.

Winner: Edson Barboza by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 17-4-0.


Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker vs Rafael “Sapo” Natal

Round 1:
Whittaker kicked at Natal’s lead leg in round one and Natal countered with lead hooks and leg kicks of his own. Whittaker backed him up with a left hook and narrowly missed with a head kick. Two looping right hooks landed for Natal and he continued to chop away at Whittaker’s lead leg. Whittaker clipped Natal with a left hook and swarmed on him with more punches, but Natal recovered quickly and fired back with big shots in return. Whittaker landed another nice hook and a combination before the bell. Close round. 10-9 Whittaker due to the late offence.

Round 2:
Natal landed more hard leg kicks in the second round and the fighters traded hooks. Whittaker threw a head kick and was knocked off-balance by a counter right hook. A combination landed for Whittaker and Natal began to bleed from beside the left eye. Whittaker remained active with punches and he began to mix in side kicks to the thigh. He attempted a flying head kick in the final ten seconds. Another close round. 10-9 Whittaker.

Round 3:
Time was called right away in the final round after Natal was kicked in the groin. Action resumed and both men landed lead right hooks and front kicks to the body. Whittaker backed Natal up with a trio of jabs and he lunged in with a looping right hook over the top. He stuffed a takedown from Natal and countered with a one-two. A left hook from Whittaker backed Natal up and Whittaker continued to score with left hands. Natal landed strong leg kicks in the final minute, but Whittaker dropped him with a head kick and followed with punches. Natal returned to his feet and time expired. 10-9 Whittaker.

Winner: Robert Whittaker by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds. He improves to 16-4-0.


Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez vs Andre “Touchy” Fili

Round 1:
Rodriguez mixed up his strikes well in the early goings and he took Fili down after catching a body kick. Rodriguez landed hard punches from the top and Fili countered with an upkick. Rodriguez passed to side control and then switched to half-guard on the opposite side. Fili attempted to sweep, but Rodriguez kept him pinned down and moved back to side control. Fili exploded out and returned to his feet. Rodriguez tripped him with a leg kick and the fighters traded jabs and straight punches. Fili attempted a takedown before the bell. 10-9 Rodriguez.

Round 2:
Rodriguez fell after throwing a front kick in round two, but he returned to his feet and scored a quick takedown. Fili tied him up from the bottom and the fighters stood back up. Rodriguez missed with spinning kicks, but he flattened Fili with a flying switch kick. Fili collapsed to the mat and the fight was stopped.

Winner: Yair Rodriguez by KO (Flying Switch Kick) at 2:15 of round two. He improves to 7-1-0.


(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)