Jon Jones had a choice to make in the weeks leading up to UFC 151 several years ago.
Fight Chael Sonnen after Dan Henderson was forced out and defend his light heavyweight title against a dangerous opponent on short notice.
Or decline the contest.
Jones decided to do the latter, and UFC officials had no choice but to cancel the event completely.
When the same situation – albeit with a few different circumstances – was presented to “Bones” ahead of UFC 197, he made a different decision.
Jones returns this Saturday for the first time in over a year to meet Ovince Saint Preux for the interim title in the main event.
“UFC 151 happened a long time ago,” said Jones, during open workouts Wednesday in Las Vegas (thanks to MMAjunkie for the quotes). “It’s something that some people still hold against me to this day. To get in there for all these fans, saving this card, I thought it would give me some brownie points with the fans.”
After being stripped of the title and suspended following a legal run-in, Jones said it “feels great to be back.”
“I missed the game so much,” he added. “Over the last year, it’s been really though to be a Jon Jones fan. I definitely haven’t made it easy.
“I wanted to do something positive. I wanted to save the day for these guys.”