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Aspinall vs. Jones: The Greatest Fight We’ll Never See

The UFC Heavyweight division, one that’s often placed on a pedestal by the promotion and Dana White, has never been more complicated. In fact, we can go as far as suggesting there isn’t a weight class with more complications right now, and almost every critic, fan, and analyst of the sport is pointing fingers at Jon “Bones” Jones.

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Aspinall vs. Jones: The Greatest Fight We’ll Never See
US mixed martial arts fighter Jon Jones | Patrick T. Fallon / AFP

 

Is Jon Jones Protecting His Legacy?

One year after Jones won the heavyweight championship, we still await an undisputed title defense. Originally scheduled to defend the strap at UFC 295 against Stipe Miocic, a Jones injury forced a withdrawal from said contest, thus placing the division on hold.

However, in typical UFC fashion, they created an interim championship bout, as England’s Tom Aspinall, with a 7-1 UFC record, took just 1 minute and 9 seconds to dispatch a formerly undefeated Russian in Sergei Pavlovich.

Naturally, Aspinall called for a unification bout with Jones as the interim belt he’d won so easily placed him as the automatic number one contender… Or, so we thought.

Unfortunately, Jones, a fighter regarded as the best mixed martial artist in UFC history, decided to continue with the Miocic bout.

Aged 36, Jones’ recent career choices have received a huge backlash, as it seems he’s clearly avoiding the Aspinall fight. There are, however, several counter-arguments, and the one most of us are neglecting is the third man involved, Stipe Miocic.

Get super early Jon Jones vs Stipe Miocic betting lines here!

This fight was long booked before Aspinall claimed interim status, and Miocic isn’t just another unproven fighter; he’s a former champ with legend status. We mustn’t neglect that he wasn’t the one who withdrew from the originally scheduled bout with Jones.

 

Aspinall Says ‘Jon Jones is Holding Sh*t Up’

Aspinall’s public eagerness to fight Jones has been consistent, and he’s also added fuel to the fire surrounding the conspiracy that people believe the heavyweight champ is ducking the interim belt holder.

On his YouTube channel, when discussing the Jones situation, Aspinall said:

It’s a strange conundrum with my division. Usually, when the champ comes back, the interim [champ] will obviously fight the champ. Jon Jones is holding sh*t up, let’s be honest.”

He’s playing games, so me and Curtis Blaydes though, we have history, we fought before – granted it was 15 seconds, it wasn’t an actual fight. I got injured, Curtis takes the win, but now it’s time to get a bit of payback.”

With a desire to remain active, Aspinall has signed up to fight Curtis Blaydes at UFC 304. This co-main event clash holds significant value to a UK-born fighter, as it’s set to be held in Manchester, England.

The interim heavyweight strap will be up for grabs at UFC 304, and it’s a rematch from two years ago before Aspinall held the belt. The British fighter suffered an unfortunate and abrupt end in the fight due to a knee injury, and on record, it’s the only fight he hasn’t won to date.

At least the hottest fighting prodigy out of the UK will have an opportunity to prove why he’s the interim heavyweight champion. However, there’s an elephant in the room, and that’s whether he will ever receive the highly popularized octagon clash with Jon Jones.

 

Will Jones vs. Aspinall Ever Happen?

The MMA fan base’s frustration is warranted because there’s no denying that Aspinall vs. Jones holds significantly more intrigue than Jones vs. Miocic, especially considering the former has a better chance of an upset.

The most worrying part is that if Aspinall doesn’t get Jones next, the fight may never come to fruition. The endless variables for the Jones/Aspinall fight not to happen certainly outweigh those that give us the heavyweight contest we’re all yearning for. If Jones loses to Miocic, a rematch will be in place, and if he wins, retirement is a possibility. Jones’ in-cage activity has been scarce, with nearly four years of inactivity in total when you add the time before and after he fought Ciryl Gane.

Therefore, don’t expect a two—or three-fights-per-year version of Jon Jones. As mentioned, the potential of him sailing off into the sunset following an impressive performance over Miocic is probable. This doesn’t include other factors, such as Aspinall losing to Blaydes or injuries from either camp occurring.

In an ideal world, Aspinall wins his fight in July, Jones’s alleged November date with Stipe results in success for “Bones,” and the two agree to meet in what could potentially be the biggest fight to bet on in 2025.

It’s a fairytale scenario, but one we hope the stars will align for; otherwise, we’ll fantasize about Jones vs. Aspinall as the ‘fight we never got to see’ for the rest of our lives.

 

 

Questions Of The Day

When is Tom Aspinall fighting next?


Tom Aspinall will defend the interim heavyweight championship versus Curtis Blaydes at UFC 304 on July 27, 2024.

When is Jon Jones fighting next?


Jon Jones will defend the heavyweight championship versus Stipe Miocic, and while the date and event are TBC, it’s alleged to take place in Q4 of 2024.

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