We’ve got bad news and good news for UFC 295 on November 11 at Madison Square Garden. The bad: Jon Jones is out of the main event against Stipe Miocic, the former champion. The UFC heavyweight champion tore his pectoral muscle during a training session and had surgery, which put him on the shelf for up to eight months.
The good news is that we get a new and arguably better heavyweight fight.
UFC 295 Redux: New Main Event and Heavyweight Fight
Losing the Jones-Miocic main event is a big blow to UFC 295, especially in terms of its mainstream appeal. But fight fans will argue that the replacement bout, an interim heavyweight title fight between Sergi Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall is better. Both are young contenders who have been on a tear. And the former co-main event now moves up to the top to get the spotlight it deserves.
Jiri Prochazka, the former light heavyweight champion, fights Alex Pereira, the former middleweight champion. Most UFC picks and predictions are all over the place here though the UFC lines favor Pereira. Both are kickboxers with plenty of knockout victories. Folks should not expect this to go to a decision.
And as the new co-main event, Pavlovich and Aspinall should also not need the judges. The former has an 83% finishing rate while the latter has finished all of his UFC victories. And while Aspinall is slightly favored by early UFC odds, Pavlovich has a good chance to get the upset. Monitor our sportsbook’s lines as we will see plenty of action on both sides.
Broken Bones: When Will Jones Return?
As for the injured Jones, the timetable after his surgery is around four to six months although Jones could be out for as long as eight. That means Jones could return anywhere from around late February to early July. At 36 with numerous injuries, Jones may not have a lot of fights left.
The full update from Jon Jones on his injury that forced him out of UFC 295.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 27, 2023
The UFC will maximize Jones so expect his return to be a potentially bigger event. His timeline aligns with UFC 300, which could take place in April. What better main event than the return of the promotion’s greatest fighter?
Jones will return. But it’s unclear if he will still fight Miocic. Allegedly, the UFC offered Miocic a fight with Pavlovich, the backup fighter for UFC 295. But Miocic turned it down. Now, he may get passed over for the winner of Pavlovich-Aspinall. Of course, it may all be up to Jones.
The two-division champion seems to only want “money fights” now. He may turn down a title unification bout with either Pavlovich or Aspinall as they are, in theory, more difficult fights with less name value. That’s not a good move for Jones as far as business.
We can expect Jones to still be a wide favorite in his re-booked fight with Miocic. But the online sports betting lines on a bout with Pavlovich or Aspinall could be tighter. Of course, we can only wait as more updates are announced in the future.
UFC 295 Still Offers Plenty
Even with Jones-Miocic falling through, UFC 295 is still a rich card with plenty of worthwhile fights to watch or bet online.
Former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade will fight multiple-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Mackenzie Dern in the featured bout. And two lightweight sluggers Matt Frevola and Benoit Saint-Denis should prove to be potential show-stealers. Dern and Saint-Denis are favored in their respective bouts.
Questions of the Day
Why is Jon Jones out of UFC 295?
Jon Jones, the UFC heavyweight champion, injured his pectoral muscle during a sparring session. He is expected to be out for up to eight months.