Jon Jones defeated Ovince St Preux for the interim UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 197 this past weekend, but didn’t look as good in doing so as most were expecting.

“He was rusty tonight. It’s funny,” UFC president Dana White said after the fight. “For Jon, everything worked out for him because if that had been (Daniel) Cormier in there tonight it would’ve been a rough night (for Jones).

“I say it all the time: Ring rust is real. You take that time off… it happens.”

OSP replaced an injured Cormier in the UFC 197 main event just over three weeks before the April 23rd card. Though he lost in a one-sided decision, the fact St Preux was able to hang with arguably the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world for five full rounds on short notice has earned him much respect.

“OSP’s stock definitely goes up, hanging in there with Jon Jones for five rounds,” said Dana.

Jones will next meet Cormier in a rematch of their UFC 182 meeting to unify his interim title and Cormier’s championship. A date and venue for the fight has not yet been announced.

“Jon Jones now gets to get back in the gym, knows where he’s at, knows what he needs to work on and get himself right, physically and mentally,” said Dana.