Tom Aspinall is over Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic.
The Heavyweight division of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is in a unique state of affairs. Aspinall — the division’s interim titleholder — has earned his undisputed championship opportunity, but won’t get it next as Jones — the undisputed kingpin — is expected to battle Miocic upon his return from injury at some point in 2024.
It’s an odd spot for Aspinall to be in, leaving one to speculate whether or not he should wait things out or defend his temporary crown in the meantime. The latter of which is what the Brit intends to do so that his legacy can continue to be crafted.
“They’re not holding me back, man,” Aspinall said on The MMA Hour. “I’m going to be the best Heavyweight ever. No matter which way it goes. Whether it’s the next fight people start thinking it, the next year people start thinking it, the next 10 years people start thinking it. I don’t care. I’ve got a lot to prove and I’m here to prove it. I’m not here to shy away from no one or nothing. I ain’t letting anybody or anything hold me back and I’m going full in, balls to the wall, all in. I’ll fight anybody. I’m the guy.”
Aspinall and Jones have had a good amount of back-and-forth banter online (with some Miocic comments sprinkled in) since the interim champion was crowned at UFC 295 in Nov. 2023. So much so that fans have been divided between the sides they’re taking ... and some have taken things way too far.
At this stage, Aspinall admits he complained about his position. That’s all behind him, however, and it’s onto controlling what he can control.
“I did a little bit of online crying, and a lot of people are on my side, of course,” Aspinall said. “I’ve openly said, I don’t think the thing that’s going on with Jon Jones is right. I don’t think that the UFC’s decision is right. But that’s just my opinion, man. I state my opinion. I respect their opinion. I respect their decision. I respect everything that Jon Jones and the UFC have done and are doing, and a lot of people told me online, ‘Hey Tom, you need to stop crying.’
“And I thought, oh, you know what? I f—king need to stop crying about it. They’re right,” he continued. “I do need to stop crying. I need to move forward with it, and move on with my career, and prove that I’m the best, and that’s exactly what I intend on doing.”
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