Tom Aspinall believes he should be the man fighting Jon Jones, not Stipe Miocic.
UFC 295 saw Aspinall score his first world title, capturing the interim heavyweight championship following a stunning first-round knockout of Sergei Pavlovich in the evening’s co-main event.
The bout was slapped together just two weeks ahead of fight night after the division’s undisputed titleholder Jon Jones was forced to withdraw from his headliner against Stipe Miocic. Instead of securing a replacement opponent for Miocic, the promotion opted to book the interim title fight.
According to UFC CEO Dana White, they will reschedule Jones vs. Miocic for some time in 2024 with the winner moving on to face Aspinall in a title unification clash. However, Aspinall can’t imagine why anyone would want to see Jones vs. Miocic after the performance he delivered inside Madison Square Garden.
“I want to fight Jon Jones,” Aspinall told TMZ Sports. “That’s what I want to do. I don’t see the interest being there as much with Stipe. I think that 42-year-old Stipe, who’s not fought for three years, compared to a guy like me who’s just knocked out the most dangerous guy in the UFC.
“I think that the interest will be out there a lot more between me and Jon Jones and I think that the UFC will see that that’s the fight that I’m looking forward to” (h/t DailyMail).
Fight fans have long suspected that both Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic would retire from mixed martial arts once they cash in on their heavyweight superfight.
“It would sting a little as I’d love that fight,” Aspinall said of Jones’ potential retirement. “I would absolutely love that fight. Is it gonna define my overall career? No. But, would it be nice to take the fight, have that experience, and fight someone who’s considered the greatest of all time? Absolutely. Like I would love that fight more than any other fight at this point. So that’s what I’m aiming for right now.”
Tom Aspinall Returns to Normal Life Following Life-Changing Performance
Following a win like the one Tom Aspinall scored at UFC 295, you’d think he would take advantage of the opportunity to burn the midnight oil and mark the occasion with a monumental celebration. Instead, the British superstar enjoyed his victory with a couple of post-fight drinks before returning to his normal routine.
“By the time we got did all the media got back to the hotel, it was like a couple of drinks in the hotel, then we went to a bar. It was probably like 6 a.m. by the time I got back, but it was only a couple of hours. So it wasn’t too heavy. So I’m gonna have a little bit of time to chill,” Aspinall revealed.
“But to be honest, I’m looking to get back in the gym in the next couple of days and do a little bit I don’t I’m not into that. Since I needed money and I had all the time off. I’m not really into like partying too much anymore. Nothing like I’m focused now on being the best heavyweight of all time. So I think I’ll celebrate when my career is over.”
He continued, “I’m just completely back to normal! Took the kids to school today and I’m going to pick them up in an hour’s time! I’m going about my day absolutely normal. Like, there’s nothing new going on!
“I never really set out to inspire anyone, you know? That’s not really my goal. But if I can inspire people a little bit, like, it’s just a bonus for me, you know what I mean? I’m not trying to be like some inspirational figure where everyone can walk up to him and follow me because I’m flawed.
“I’m a human being I do a lot of things wrong as well. I don’t want someone to look and follow my every step because I’ve done a lot of things wrong over the years as well. But if I can inspire someone to get into martial arts and really have a clean and healthy lifestyle, that’s ultimately what I’d like to do.”