Tom Aspinall turns attention to Stipe Miocic fight after Jon Jones injury
He's keen to keep busy after his recent win.
Tom Aspinall has turned his attention to former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic for his next fight as he looks to prepare for a potential unification bout with Jon Jones.
The Manchester-based heavyweight became only the third British fighter to become a UFC champion after he produced a stunning first-round knockout of Sergei Pavlovich to capture the interim heavyweight title.
In the wake of his victory, Aspinall had called out Jones – the undisputed champion – who had initially been scheduled to headline the card in Maddison Square Garden before pulling out with injury.
However, the American has now undergone surgery on his torn pectoral tendon and faces a lengthy spell out of the Octagon as he continues his rehabilitation.
Eager to fight again before a potential unification bout, the 30-year-old has now set his sights on former champion Miocic who was initially scheduled to fight Jones before his injury.
‘Jones is out for the foreseeable, probably for the next year, so in the meantime, I should fight Stipe,’ Aspinall said, speaking to Sky Sports at Old Trafford.
‘Stipe was going to fight Jones, Jones pulled out, so me and Stipe are next I reckon.’
Miocic hasn’t fought since March 2021 when he suffered an emphatic second-round knockout defeat against Francis Ngannou to lose his heavyweight belt.
The 41-year-old is still regarded as one of UFC’s best heavyweights, though, and holds the record for the most defences of the heavyweight title (4).
In the aftermath of Aspinall’s victory over Pavlovich, UFC President Dana White had alluded that Miocic is still next in line to fight Jones, despite not holding the interim belt.
‘That’s the fight they want, that’s the fight that makes sense, that’s the fight that should happen,’ White had said.
‘We’ll see what happens. [Aspinall] took this fight on short notice, obviously he looked great. He’s got plenty of money to chill out for a minute, and we’ll see.’
However, the severity of Jones’s injury may force White into a rethink out of a fear of holding up the heavyweight division again given there has been just one undisputed title fight in the last 31 months.
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