UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones didn’t take too kindly to the suggestion by interim champion Tom Aspinall that he should be stripped of his title.
“I’ve faced the absolute toughest competition this world had to offer for 15 years now,” Jones posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “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 Dana, that’s hilarious. In my 15-year career, I have seen so many guys who are supposed to be the next big thing. There’s only ever been one Jon Jones, never forget that.”
Aspinall called on the promotion to elevate him to the status of undisputed heavyweight champion while Jones continues to rehab from a torn pectoral muscle that will keep him out of action until 2024. Jones was set to defend his title against Stipe Miocic at UFC 295 in Madison Square Garden but isn’t expected to make his return to the Octagon until next year after undergoing surgery.
“I think Jon Jones should be stripped of the title, to be honest, because everyone else does when they get injured like that,” Aspinall told Michael Bisping in a interview last month. “I don’t see why he’s still got it. I don’t understand that. I think I should be the real champion right now.”
White said that, after UFC 295, he would plan to rebook a title fight between Jones and Miocic in the new year. The UFC CEO affirmed his stance that the heavyweight legends will do battle for the title when the time comes.
“You have the greatest mixed martial artist of all time versus the greatest heavyweight of all time. They’ve paid their dues, they’ve done their things. These two want to fight each other, and it’s going to happen. Whoever wins, we’ll see what they decide to do after that, and then we’ll go from there,” White said after recent Fight Night event, according to MMA Junkie’s Danny Segura.
That plan leaves Aspinall without an opponent after securing the interim champion title following a first-round knockout over Sergei Pavlovich in November.
Aspinall offered to fight Miocic for the undisputed title as Jones works his way back from injury. He would prefer to fight for the undisputed crown, but he isn’t willing to wait too long to make his way back into the Octagon.