The land of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) giants was shaken up unceremoniously this past month. UFC 295 was expected to feature Jones’ first title defense as Heavyweight kingpin against former two-time champion, Stipe Miocic. Unfortunately, Jones suffered a torn pectoral muscle just two weeks out from the event, forcing his withdrawal and shifting Tom Aspinall vs. Sergei Pavlovich onto the card to compete for the interim title.
The United Kingdom’s Aspinall went on to stun the New York City crowd and finish Pavlovich with strikes in 69 seconds (watch highlights). Taking next to no damage, Aspinall wants to remain active while Jones recovers, leading to an eventual clash (hopefully). However, because Jones hasn’t fought since March 2023 when he won the vacant title against Ciryl Gane (watch highlights), Aspinall has been calling for “Bones” to be stripped.
Unsurprisingly, Jones isn’t too fond of the interim titlist’s comments.
“I’ve faced the absolute toughest competition this world had to offer for 15 years now,” Jones tweeted. “During camp for a title defense I sustained a major injury that required surgery for the first time in my career. Now I have newcomers requesting I get my championship stripped.
“Zero wins over legends, zero title defenses and already thinking you can call the shots to [UFC CEO] Dana [White], that’s hilarious,” Jones continued. “In my 15-year career I have seen so many guys who are supposed to be the next big thing. There’s ever only been one Jon Jones, never forget that.”
When it comes to lengthy injury recoveries, Aspinall recently returned from one of his own after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) against Curtis Blaydes (watch highlights) in July 2022. Aspinall has looked better than ever since returning, putting away the aforementioned Pavlovich after a 73-second stoppage of Polish veteran, Marcin Tybura, in July 2023 (watch highlights).
For more on Jones, his injury and potential return date click here.