‘How Do You Not Fight Aspinall?’

UFC 285 Press Conference
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Dana White hopes to see the winner of Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic hold off on any potential retirement plans.

Heavyweight gold was supposed to be on the line between the current undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion, Jones, and former two-time titleholder, Miocic, at UFC 295 this past November 2023. Unfortunately for all involved, “Bones” tore his pectoral muscle a few weeks out from the contest, which led to the creation of an interim title. Instead of keeping Miocic on the event, the match up was postponed.

Top contenders, Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich, entered the event to save the day and provided an ultra-impressive 69-second knockout win for the Brit (watch highlights). Since then, Aspinall has been vocal about wanting to fight either Jones or Miocic next as he now has a title of his own. A lot of fear and speculation has been that one or both of the men expected to be involved in the rebooked title fight will retire afterward. However, UFC boss, White, isn’t so sure.

“Yes, this summer it should happen,” White told Maxx Crosby of Jones vs. Miocic. “It’s interesting [on the retirement aspect]. I think it depends on who wins. I mean, either guy that wins, how do you not fight Aspinall?

“I think there’s a — it’s almost like a courtesy, if you will,” he continued. “If you’re looked at as one of the G.O.A.T.s, whoever wins this fight, it’s almost like a courtesy thing to give that guy the shot. Give him an opportunity to win or you win and it just absolutely cements nobody can poke holes in [the legacy] that nobody can say anything about it.”

While still recovering from his pectoral tear, Jones also had a recent elbow surgery before he revealed he was offered to fight at UFC 300 on April 13, 2024. That won’t be happening, however, and the mentioned summer target is earlier than expected for Jones, which may just be optimism from White. Ultimately, it will be interesting to see what happens with the trio of Heavyweights who seek their answers as Aspinall is ready to fight.