Tom Aspinall, the interim UFC heavyweight champion, recently made headlines for his outspoken comments about Jon Jones, the current heavyweight champion. Aspinall believes Jones should be stripped of his title due to a pectoral muscle injury that has sidelined him since October 2023.
In a recent interview, Aspinall stated: "I think Jon Jones should be stripped of the title, to be honest. Everyone else loses the title when they suffer such a serious injury. I don't see why the belt is still with him, I don't understand.
I should be the real champion . Stop protecting your boy Jon Jones. If he's hurt, get out of the way and Stipe and I will fight."
Instant response from a champion
Jones, who is sidelined with injury, hit back at Aspinall's comments, calling him "money" and stating he has "zero wins against legends" and "zero title defences".
Jones also reminded Aspinal of his long and successful career, saying: "Over the 15 years of my career, I've watched a lot of guys who were supposed to be 'the next big thing' But there's only one Jon Jones and never forget that."
The UFC is patiently waiting for Jones to return
UFC President Dana White also weighed in on the situation, stating that the UFC will wait for Jones to return before making any decisions on the heavyweight title.
White said, "I think Jon Jones is the greatest MMA fighter of all time. He's been the champion for a long time. He's earned the right to be the champion." While White's statement seems to indicate that Jones will retain the title, Aspinall has not given up hope.
Aspinall said: "I understand that Dana wants to wait for Jon to come back, but I think it's unfair to the rest of the division. I've been training hard and I'm ready to fight for the title." It remains to be seen what the UFC ultimately decides to do with the heavyweight title. It remains to be seen what will happen with the belt, but it must be admitted that Aspinall's claims make sense.